Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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In the City of Fire

The years pass. We leave the wreckage for the birds
and live in skyscrapers now,
hang paintings of glaciers mid-thaw.

When the city meets her tombs,
we pour whiskey into tumblers and sigh. We say
this country makes you hard. Even the dead starve.

The mothers march parades through the cemetery.
Joy is for the afterlife, they say,
and drape the headstones with myrrh and lace.

The keys hang between the breasts of our daughters now.
They palm cigarettes and speak of revolution.

We tell them the prophets have been dead for ages,
the flags crumbled in the riots.

Our hands fill like volcanos at the dying cities
but we tore the atlas into psalms.

In our houses we leave every light bulb burning,
keep the music cranked up loud and fast
for the god we will never let sleep.  end  

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