A clear night

Something off center, some thing where

you are not in the mood for words

a thing out there, coming toward your blind spot

because all day heavy trucks make the dust

before the battle, no one said battle but

there in the grey dust is the smell of it

the HETs slung low with carriage weight

one and another and one and one in a line

and another line of low gears gathering

like bees confessing to their hive

headlamps sweeping dust

because someone will see, someone will pay



And the moon is not rising in time, the clouds

gone to April, operatic but offstage,

succulent as the fist.

You know these moods.

In the meantime, with a rhythm like syncope,

something … what?

In Najaf, you’ve heard, there will be real trouble.

And that’s not all.

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