The First Stone

by Mark Chmiel

He who is without sin, let him throw the first stone
Let him drop the first canisters of napalm

Let him rain down white prosperous on those under ten years of age
Let him justify the grisly means by the glorious end

Let him destroy the village in order to save it
Let him go to church, fold his hands and pray

Let him ignore the refugee children in the vicinity
Let him assert that nothing is off the table

They who are without blemish, let them utter the words “nuclear first strike”
Let them refuse the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court

Let them put Black Sites on ships
Let them apply various kinds of pressure to certain body parts of particular persons who aren’t at all like us

Let them claim immunity from those laws that should only bind others
Let them bestride the world like Colossus with Red Bull running through their veins

Let them knock down front doors and terrify the women and children
Let them fire with precision from the Apache helicopter gunships

Let them remind anyone who has forgotten that theirs is the indispensable nation
Let them expect endless encomia as their just due

They who are without sin, let them gather intellectuals to list their virtues in speech after speech, in towns and counties and cities and states
Let them serve the empire by day and sleep restfully at night

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