Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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above southern Kuwait oil fields, 1991

The pilot misunderstood our silence
swooped the helicopter low for a better look
the desert burning like candlesticks
weeks and weeks of night on end
we washed cars with gasoline to remove soot,
covered naked women in deserted police stations
after Saddam’s soldiers withdrew.
Is there another lunatic who says War
makes for a better person?
They left pelicans oil-slick, killed coral,
took truckloads of our men in their wake.
I recall that pilot as though trembling
before a forgotten lover’s ghost,
remember only hovering above
slanted columns of billowing smoke,
a birthday’s endless night.

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