casualties of war by John Grochalski

drones drop
as i argue american exceptionalism
with a co-worker

she keeps telling me
how truly great america is

so i turn to a
twenty-one year old clerk
ask her if she’s ever known
a nation not at war

she stops for a second
puts down her books
shakes her head

no, she says
no i don’t

then we all go back to work silently
back to doing whatever it was
that wasn’t so exceptional nor so great
to begin with either.

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