The Re-Enactors by Matthew Moniz

dulce et decorum est
pro pecuniamea mori

They know the cost and play it every month,
performing glory, safe on conquered lawns.
Authentic, civil regimens possess
no rhyme, no reason, just the march. They march,
they muster, musket musk half-cocked. They boast,
bear accurate inaccurate antiques.
With starcrossed banners, fervent cosplay grays
take bitter aim with barrels bare and squeeze
as union blues sound empty cannonades.
All deign to fall to clippered grass. They rise–
the green is clean – and leave for splendid homes
to give commands, consume, cast blame, ignore
a heritage of proxy violence – wealth
procured by sending others out to harm.

Matthew Moniz is a PhD student in poetry at the University of Southern Mississippi. Originally from the DC area, he holds an MFA and MA from McNeese State University and a BA from Notre Dame. Among other journals, Matt’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review and Meridian. He has been awarded the SCMLA Poetry Prize and grown in workshops with Tin House and the Community of Writers.