by Bruce Stern
I was enveloped by a red mist,
Deep crimson with streaks of black.
It had a metallic tang, a strange, terrifying taste.
The mist swirled and picked up glints of light and shadow,
But darkness overwhelmed any brightness.
It was the blood of tens of thousands of innocents,
And far fewer less-than-innocents.
The mist flowed all around and through me.
Striations of color beckoned amid the predominant reds.
Subtle shades of greens and blues and yellows reached out,
Like souls trying to shake me.
The less-than-innocents were killing themselves and the others.
Disrespect and willful ignorance were raining death on us.
I looked closely at the mist and saw the tortured remains of people
Dying without human touch or comfort.
It didn’t need to be this way.