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how do we bury the dead

how do we bury the dead
stacking up on the patio against our picture window? I can barely see
over the last body blown here by another cluster bomb—
every forty minutes, every twenty every ten every five every two every one—
I can no longer see into the garden

what do we do with all these children
lying here outside our kitchen

until each of their deaths has been named a death
until each of us knows who it is we have killed
how young she is—eight? thirteen? twenty-two? did she often
hold her hands that way? was she about to ask a question?

her face once a freshly-turned field
but now

enunciate repeat
kill, death, kill, death
pausing after each as each deserves,
in our sleep, on TV
till our words become sand stinging blood from our palms
raised to the rising wind

look now what is left of her face, the torn, barren ground—
hers, then his, too— repeat

hurry

sand to cover at least her slight
once radiant body

Mermer Blakeslee

 
 
   
 

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