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War, Lafayette to Wilkes-Barre


my hurting arm from twelve-hour Indiana to Pennsylvania drive
but I'm not a refugee, not carrying anything, not losing anything
not fleeing anything, not ducking anything
nor swerving the car to avoid more than semis careening down 80 at 80
not bomb craters, people, buildings -
can't sleep so go to melatonin, but not fear of flame, fire, scream
might take vicodin for the fever but it will pass -
once again outside in the cold air going driving through storm
but not shrapnel, missiles, bullets -
driving through construction, traffic, backed-up semis
but not like this and not like that -
not like the others or the red-haired woman by the beach
or the lonely e-flat clarinet in the antique shop waiting for a mouth
not like the rim of fire -
high winds, not like the high winds from the rim of fire
not like this, not like that -
but not like that, not like this
oh fuck I can't write about anything
nothing has ever happened to me
not like that, not like this
we'll all write about the war which isn't the war
we'll all feel we're doing something
we're passing on mail, passing on information
don't read this, move on, there's a ball of fire in the sky
which I can't even imagine dragging herself through the ruins