THE WARTIME ISSUE
WHAT DO THE DANCING WHITE BIRDS SAY LOOKING DOWN UPON BURNT MEADOWS?
In middle of this war, as it was in sanctions, he tore windows from the pane; she tore windows from the pane; the family sold a window, bought grain.
(To say tea with dates is not to say abundance; it is to say he was ashamed.) Tea, dates:
all that they could offer guests who came, all the children had to eat for days.
This one who stood amidst the screaming children, beneath the screaming planes.
100,000 date palms burning; rivers burning; mountains burning. Fish bloat. Horse he rode escaping, burns. O for a cup of water. Eyes burn; lungs burn; baby burns.
The Ten Commandments say: (minimal moral requirements for mankind.) Do not leave your brother blind; do not starve or murder or cause pain. Ten prerequisites to Genocide:
People seen dismantling the home, hawking walls, nails, panes; seen begging water from stopped pipes. Burned fields, burned sifter, burned basket, burned grain.
Acts seen: ghost of murderous Cain in window of the screaming plane.
Christi Kramer was born in Northern Idaho and graduated from George Mason University’s MFA Creative Writing Program. She is currently working on a book manuscript, "Reading The Throne," an ethnography-in-poetry of Iraqi Kurds exiled and living as refugees in Harrisonburg, VA.
Published in Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2006.