Ghazal of the Disembodied
Dennis Mahagin

Nick Berg worked Iraq before it was occupied, saw $ signs
Strung like fish hook spines on the spark-spitting cable lines.

Zarqawi, the greasy thug with carbine and a shylock side
Told trembling Berg he would only be “going for a ride.”

In the pentagonal reflective lens of tripod webcam, Nick
Saw a sacrificial tableau his mind instantly denied; then
Zarqawi turned him, screaming, on his side.

Right up to the instant Zarqawi began to slice
Nick still believed he would leave with his life.
Later, a fighter pilot put a laser’s red dot on
The hovel where Al Zarqawi chose to hide.

His face, in rubble death, looked ghostly-peaceful, like
Beatnik Buddha soaked in absinthe and formaldehyde.

Brigadier brass blew the image up, 50-fold its size
Under immaculate gilt-frame and glass, proving to

All the hideous cameras of the world
that this here kill was bona fide.