Notes on Logistics, Scene 10
Ask the boys in the sound booth
for a boom mike over
a screaming woman. Her age
does not matter. Nor her race.
Whether she is pretty
or not or loves her husband
or is already missing an arm.
Whether she will be penned
with the others, or her mother
bent over the plough.
Whether the flame
in the lieutenant's hands
or a button on his coat.
Whether the crops catch.
Whether the smell of the smoke
reminds her or her children of hunger.
Burning Bush in Effigy
For first, it is a fine Revolutionary tradition,
and I a patriot. For second, it will glow.
For "We the people" was authored by an editor--
Gouverneur Morris, to replace a list of states--
and I too believe in hard pruning, and I say
fire is a form of punctuation.
For the Bush spoke, and God ordered "Fire."
For far is the reach of the arm that clears
brush to keep water for grass on a ranch
where a few cattle fill the dry eye of God,
while in strange sand it sets imaginary fires
to call the still, collateral children to real bunkers,
throwing the voice of God down holes
to anoint the babes in arms and the grandfathers,
calling flash fires to scorch in place
the circles of the uncles' open mouths
before the crooked white tiles above the metal rolling tables
upon which women wash the limbs returned,
calling the current of God from the storms of the sky
to the wires of the dungeon earth to speak
in the voice of a dog to a hood, commanding the hood to nod
like an Amarillo oil derrick. The wind of the nodding hood
fans the flames on a ridgeline half a world away,
sunflowers in the fields below curling in the smoke.
From the incandescence of the Bush's straw face,
the falling embers hiss like rain.
Dorine Jennette's poems, essays, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as The Journal, Ninth Letter, Coconut, Court Green, Memorious, and the Georgia Review. She earned her PhD at the University of Georgia, and now earns her keep as a copyeditor for university presses. She lives in Davis, California.
(author retains copyright)