Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Spring 2008 Vol. 7 No. 1



Making History

All I know of the Spanish-American War
is what Virginia boys, safe at college,
etched into the mortar with their pencils

so that leaning against a brick wall
a hundred years later, I can make out
Cuba Libre! and Remember the Maine.

I don’t remember the Maine, only
that a Cuba Libre is made of rum, Coke,
and lime. What I know of sacrifice is

the tin spoons that always fall into
my dorm room radiator. Cereal: spoon.
Ice milk: spoon. The world is lousy

with spoons. The world is lousy
with lentils, flashbombs, lo-fi, hi-speed.
Somewhere is a petition I should be

signing. Somewhere a parakeet is
driving a tractor, and I am missing it.
A pair of scissors is thrown and the boy

catches it with his arm, the blade sinking
inches deep, so fast there is no blood.
His roommate says What do we do now?

Pull it out, says the boy, but no one wants
to be the one to pull it out. That’s when
they turn the camera off. Some nights

I dream we meet: You have to help me,
he says. Cuba is burning. I reach in his arm.
I pull out spoon after spoon after spoon.  

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