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The Art of War


When the planes came over

Cain was lying on his bed / half-asleep / unshaven

In the boarding house

You know the scene / I know you do / the movie set

The seedy room in black and white

The sheets all wet from sweating bread

The TV on / the cigarette.




When the bombs began to fall

He was standing by the window

In the rockets red glare

And oh / the skies / amazing / blazing

Hey, you know the song / I know you do

The children dying / blah blah blah

The fields of wheat consumed by fire

The shadows blistered on the street.




But this is Cain / you understand? / the man himself

Is standing by the window

Staring down at burning children

Running through a storm of metal

Manufactured in a tongue

They never learned at school.

He suddenly remembers

How his younger brother Abel / fell beneath the blows

Beside the bloody altar / on that awful day of sacrifice.


The sky is empty now and silent

Oh / but every mother knows

Tomorrow is another day of dying in the town.

Standing at the window / staring out

At body parts and bits of bone / the bloody stool 

You know the scene / the President  

And then of course / commercial breaks

When suddenly / the Son of Man / 

His weary face / reflected in the window pane

He cries aloud:  What have I done?

What have I done? he cries again.  What have I done?

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