I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
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Their eyes are red from worry and loss of sleep.
Jawbones bite giant hollows on the moon and the gray dust
repels the mottled golf balls, the scraps of Sputnik.
Astronauts beam laser rays to Johannesburg;
they arrive just in time for the hunger strike.
Neruda is dead
Nixon is dead
Their sockets form a luminescent halo of grief.
Now the streets are quiet
Now the students study
Now they make angels dance on microscopic pins
Now, also, they yearn to make angels out of angels
Sisters in communion smash the dry-bone China,
let the children raise themselves.
The pant of a runner presses the air
We will have campaigns against cancer, faggots, dogshit on the sidewalk
The scout is courteous, kind, clean as perrier
The president has hemorrhoids, it will not pass.
The house stands firm, faces China, Russia, Cuba
faces Israel, Egypt, Iran
Angola, Panama, Mozambique
The brick glows, there is glory in the fresh white paint.
It is all show.
Inside the rooms, inside the seventies, wet spots crumble the walls
and the moisture spreads.