17 October 2008

a poem by becca hall



They declared war tonight. Already

guns assemble in that desert far away.

And here where it is raining good California rain,

here where spring knocks at the ground's door,

eager, nervous, bringing flowers; here,

where the air swoons with roses, wearing jasmine

in her hair, I wish I could say to you, Love me.


We've gone walking.  It is night.

Street lights make hollows for the rain

to fall through, and even the cars

spray as gently as your hand would feel

in mine. But your hands are your own

and you have made them fists.

One thing we agree – this night is no place

for war. The question: our part.


Violence has its time, you say,

speaking I think of some righteous

revolution.  Everything its season.

I say, look at the buds just forming

on the thorn branch.  Look how we walk

as if we love each other.  How tender

the night is, each light a silver armful.


All across the sidewalk the snails come,

woken by rain, leaving moon-trails

over the damp concrete, seeking each other. 

They are so many, I cannot keep

from crushing them.  Their shells shatter

under each guilty, tender foot.

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