Poem #59


Pondering your profession,
whom a mother
of a marine wonders
what is your line of work?

In the lunchroom,
late after first light,
sweat streams
into a sample of salt
licked from my lips.
Labor likes this.

Her son is stationed
close to Korea.
She reads we rebuke
its hostile inhabitants
and she turns solemn.

She asks me,
“What is the result
of nuclear war?”

Clear is my answer,
synonymous with slaughter,
and those not central in this crisis
contract cancer.

Marvel in
her realization,

critic of all our consoling crafts,
judge of all we jailed,
sin of all our sins,

“What waste!”


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