weeps inside the stone
family crypts, bones of old
nuzzled close to tombstone of a new one
no more than five, hit by a taxi, just one of thousands
transporting the near dead back and forth
to markets, to churches, to landmarks meant for saviors
who still bleed for sinners and saints
on the smallest of atolls, where rainwater embraces roads
like watery pillows on beds of sand.
Barefoot children still dance
prance like wild animals
chasing each other, or dogs and cats
in cemetaries adorned with plastic roses
aged photos of mothers, fathers melted in ceramic tiles
gracing the boxes, meant to pay tribute to the lineage
of men and women on the island nation decimated
by weapons like Ivy Mike unleashed on Bikini and others
forcing the creation of even more downtown memorials
for gawkers to photo, natives to cherish.
Will U.S. millions ever pay back
the loss of a culture, the ruin of hundreds of tribes?
People who built canoes, fished tuna, baked breadfruit
today drink Coke, eat Fritos, chew betel nut, send prostitutes
to Chinese, Japanese and American ships as payment in full
as, “Hallelujah, I’m saved!” rings from each shiny new church
saving lives by the hundreds each and every day
in exchange for all souls now and forever after.