The History of Traitors
Every army has one The night before battle
Caesar’s cousin dulled the edges of swords.
Later, the cousin’s severed head
– a black ball of maggots and flies –
on the side of the road.
No mention of what to do with this information.
God is the original traitor.
Ask the defeated facing the firing squad.
Hesitation is an indictment. Late in the cold war,
the United States Army coated spoons
with a chemical that turned orange under ultraviolet light
once exposed to an enzyme produced by stress.
The theory was that it would be present in traitors.
It is said that seventy-two
of these spoons were placed
in army mess halls in Korea.
An army counterintelligence manual observes
that traitors smile more than other soldiers.
“Death Obscura,” Sarabande Books, 2014
Crazyhorse, The College of Charleston, Issue 68