now sixty, now seventy, now seventy-five
Cathcart's raised the missions again!
Yossarian only wanted to stay alive
if possible forever and ever, amen

and so as the threats were multiplied again
Yossarian back into hospital did fly
to have his liver seen to for which he had no complaints
and for his eyes the doctors couldn't meet when to complain he'd try

all he wanted was a place to hide
but needed the sickness before he'd be let through the door
into sanctuary where he could leave outside
the dangers, the horrors, and the madness of war

at nights he'd think of all the fatalities of war
he'd known so keeping them alive in memory
victims of a system suffering rot to its core
sent by friends to be killed by enemies

he recalled Mudd who was sent into battle before anybody had gotten to know him by sight
along with Kraft and countless others he was exploded in mid-flight
Clevinger who disappeared inside a cloud never to be seen again
and Snowden who'd finally spilt his secret all over the back of his 'plane

McWatt, having bisected Kid Sampson, in panic and regret
dipped a wing and took a final flight, revealing the secret
as Snowden had on the Avignon mission
when he'd imparted that most valuable of lessons
(where did the Snowdens of yesteryear go?
where are they now? Yossarian wanted to know)


Milo, compelled by market forces,
in the interests of profit took particular care
to see that Nately would receive his share
and a contract would be honoured, as the law says
and that very same secret Nately had then spilled
as on the day that Snowden was killed

Yossarian recalled Hungry Joe
smothered in the dead of night by a cat
as Snowden had spilt his own secret, leaving
the world of the living in zero seconds flat

and Chief White Halfoat who'd died of pneumonia
he'd said he would and that was that
just as Snowden had spilt a secret of his own
through the hole torn through him by a piece of flak


that day the secret became plain to all
Snowden had revealed that man is matter
he is fragile, if he should fall
from a great enough height then he will shatter
puncture him and he will bleed
by endless means he can be reduced
to so much meat on which maggots can feed
water, fire, blade, or noose
man was always approximately dead
weakly bound bones blood and meat
he can be opened up, gutted, and bled
and freeze to death in the summer heat

'I'm cold,' Snowden had whimpered, 'I'm cold'
'there, there,' Yossarian had said to comfort
'there, there,' while his belly rolled
and he wished he didn't know that Snowden was done for

Yossarian resolved then never to die
immortality, if he could reach it,
became his life's singular aim
since young Snowden spilt his secret

life is defined by the thinnest of membranes
that was the insight that Snowden had revealed
in Yossarian's mind it would forever be ingrained
his destiny- to live!- was now for all time sealed
he would live forever or in the process be killed

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