Soldiers collect & number: pigment, hair, jade, roasted meat, timber, cum. The enemy’s flute; the face of an enemy as he holds his young; the enemy’s face the moment it’s harmed. The woods are a class in what they can take. The country is fat. We eat from its side.
Copyright © 2018 by Nomi Stone. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 27, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
"’War Catalogues’ is part of my forthcoming book, Kill Class, which documents my ethnographic fieldwork in mock Middle Eastern villages constructed by the U.S. military across America for pre-deployment cultural trainings. This poem wrestles with imperial theft and impulse to catalogue—not only of tusks and jade and porcelain, but also of human behavior, physiognomy, longing, grief, our outputs, our interiors. It is a record, too, of my feelings of dread and complicity around American Empire.”