The Moon Receding With Explosives Strapped To Its Waist

Where were you, father, at the CCC camp, 
sneaking into town for coffee, or in early afternoon
for a beer, thinking of wife and children and 
how much you'd seen in your 29 years? I ask you
this so many years later, when the USS Arizona 
still leaks a quart of oil a day into Pearl Harbor. 
But where were you when she was blown apart 
by her own black powder, and where are you now, 
as I try to explain that something has happened to tall 
buildings in our own city, a center has collapsed, 

bringing down the walls so easily looked through? 
What can I enumerate in the deaths of travelers, 
their planes billowing flame, the hatred of empire 
and its glass soul, here this time not a fleet at anchor 
or gun emplacements barking at the sky, but crisp 
office cubicles, not bunks, not long metal corridors,
family photos curling in instant divorce and 
abandonment, with screams suffocating at the
same rate as that morning you learned the names 
of dreadnoughts and islands and channels,  

this time another choked place and harbor 
where the dead disappear before they can be seen dying, 
the names of God incinerated on lips already gone.
John Allman | Mudlark No. 37
Contents | And When Darkness...