The Universal Grammar of Death Merchants

Basic inorganic chemistry helps a lot when
[16 ounce bottle H2O2, 15 dollars each]
there, one (with two wives in the desert
with children still waiting for scraps)
is picking shrapnel off near-corpses
noisy with dust and clinks of pans.

There were only a few, but the land leviathans
[60 tons, 4.3 million dollars each]
decided to jump the barrier on the way to the airport
pancaking sedans. It was called
a triumph then. They are still there
maintaining order, (odd phrases those.)

The delta mudflats with light automatic fire
[5.66mm, 586 dollars each]
while they smoked weed, listened to Jimi
and were the first combatants live
on prime time TV. We knew it up close then
(but now the videogram owners are in league.)

A century ago an oddly classical reference
[344 feet, 5,780 tons, only one built]
steamed into the bay ending the second to the last
empire on earth (for good.) It was winter in Paris,
Cuba Libre! but all the other islands were sold
(20 million dollars was worth more then.)

Those who wish to understand the final syntax
[three trillion dollars for this 2nd one]
of death-merchants should avoid tears,
because paying for it is their business
(between silly-over who got science on their side)
really, it’s who owns the numbers, not who’s right.

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