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I swear I heard the president say

we'd be shooting spent geranium

bullets. Blam! Visions of bloodred

drooping leaves flailing 'cross battle

fields struck my mind, till logic

murmured he meant uranium.

I didn't listen, for truly, doesn't war

make sense just for the hard of hearing?

We all, we must believe that generals

plan an exchange of atomic moms,

tireless mothers dropping unhurt

from planes to hug us all.

That soldiers silently embrace,

walking against the wind in

mime fields, lined not with barbed

wire, but instead garbed spires:

cathedrals ornately draped with jeans

blouses, and perhaps a beret.

And tiny foreign children flee

Dar es salaam, lip balm, or even

angry Tom, anything but napalm

anything but flaming, sticking

bonewhite searing truth.

Surely, truly, war is for the hard

of hearing, who are myopic too,

or else how could humans live

with the horrors that we do?

Any rumors you've heard about Greg Beatty's time at Clarion West 2000 are probably true. Greg (email Greg) publishes everything from poetry about stars to reviews of books that don't exist. Greg Beatty lives in Bellingham, Washington, where he tries, unsuccessfully, to stay dry. Greg recently got married. You can read more by Greg in our Archives.
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