William Neumire

( Syracuse, New York )

from BFR, Summer 2004


Anticipating War

snow-angel-posed in a wheat field, 
spokes of sun softening the season, 
I say to myself, remember this like a tent 
one builds over the body in the rain. 
I say, place yourself here, warm catatonia, 
when the wind comes and the sun leaves like a good father 
gone into the dark trees with a rifle.
The heat, the light, the view of no particular 
century. I say, carry this, if nothing else, as a repeating reel, 
as a reliquary. I say, the day is coming 
to an end. There are ways to overcome the end 
of a day, the erasure. 
There are ways to live in the burning 
fields, the splintering walls. 
I say, stand in one place and circle yourself 
in rick-rack so the water won’t find you. 
I say, this is the way you survive. 
Be here, repeat this, mantra, mantra, mantra. 
Meditate, there are no real wounds. 
Breathe, there is no separation of light and dark. 
I say, this is the afternoon of eternity, 
of no identifiable grace. I say, this is what you will come to call

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