“From War” by C.K. Williams

Fall’s first freshnesss, strange: the season’s ceaseless wheel,

starlings starting south, the annealed leaves ready to release,

yet still those columns of nothingness rise from their own ruins,

their twisted carcasses of steel and rise still fume, and still,

one by one, tacked up on walls by hopeful lovers, husbands, wives,

the absent faces wait, already tattering, fading, going out.

These things that happen in the particle of time we have to be alive,

these violations which almost more than altar, ark, or mosque embody sanctity by

enacting sanctity so precisely sanctity’s desecration.

These voices of bereavement asking of us what isn’t to be given.

These suddenly smudged images of consonance and peace.

These fearful burdens to borne: complicity, contrition, grief.

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