Line them up

There were twelve men kneeling,
their hands above their head,
the smell of sweat and terror
steaming off their necks
in the hissing summer air.

One leather hand, professional,
reassembled its weapon
and slid along the side
of the divine steel
of his only lover.

They were all boys, eighteen,
some had never learned to dance,
many were still virgins,
and all were in terror but
could fake composure.

What can one say?
There are no words appropriate
for those who decompose
in ditches dug by wiry slaves
on grey barbed wire days.