They are shoved into the silence,
the one that speeds down the road,
bumps and rattles disguising muffled horrors:
handkerchiefs in mouths, gloved palms
over squeezed lips tight as a kiss.
These are the ones soldiers are told to ignore,
to turn their backs on- civilians, friends,
family- just listen to the chain of command,
follow through on their one and only duty.
There is only them and the next green man
in front, and the next, and the next, next..
forming one long unbroken wall
to stem the disease in front of them.
The doctors and nurses are dead,
and now they must wear the masks,
glove, gowns, the hazmat suits,
spray the disinfectant like Agent Orange
on everything that moves, eats, drinks, dreams.
The trucks in back are filled with those
surging to cross the border in front of them.
It could be Canada or Mexico, or just those
wanting to escape the land for the sea,
the ocean, to swim, sail in hopes of
finding their private island to populate.
The rich have bought their own countries,
separated themselves with a technological
continental drift that they do not share.
The middle class have marooned themselves
on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
fighting for sustenance with gulls, crabs, sharks.
Only the poor are left— and them—
the green men who pledged loyalty
to the Constitution and now know
just the orange beast who tore it up
and rendered it to ashes, the Congress
inhabited with lawmakers with
hands over their eyes, fingers in ears,
and palms over their mouths, that
know the knowledge and meals
the beast provides only to them.
Freedom they know is not free.
It comes with the murder of those
who disagree, those disloyal to the beast.
The green men are fed on K-rations, MREs.
Their Bibles, Korans, Torahs, all
their sacred knowledge, has been burned
and doused with piss. They know they and
the poor are the shit of this deaf republic.
The green men hear the screams
in front and inside them. They remember
when they fought for freedom and liberty,
or at least when it had meaning. They dream
of the past, when America before the beast
was great again. Their present eyes see
only themselves and the poor. Those who sleep
in torn open air tents and live in cages
because the prisons overflow. They
close their eyes and they dream as
the poor surge forward to the border.
They are too tired to stop them. Nor do
they want to. They only just want to rest
and wait for the call of the next American Revolution.