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Fall 2005

Unburied Hatchets
Bob Hoeppner

Shattered hatchets scattered under ground
eroded by tank tracks surface
to slash in the sun. Steel
on flint, they spark their properties,
ignite combustible blood
pooling in roads amidst the oil stains.
A child drops a coin in sticky rut
to wish the parents back, is rewarded
by the loss of a leg next time.

Reverse vampires offer themselves
in the daylight, in the place of worship,
clearing the marketplace
of ideas with nails.
The hoods of black are the ash
of burnt-out skulls,
each head a cauldron of bodies
fed to their own fathers by the owners
of outraged wombs. The child understands
bread. The youth understands as you sow,
so shall you reap. The old sop
up a strange gravy.

There is too much heat and not enough
warmth. Too many loved
ones held by arms that do not hug, but carry.
Too many living bone-side out,
buried skin-side in.
Prayers mushroom above
the dark wet side of the technological age.
We taste and hallucinate.
We believe there can be winners
where there is no game.

An inflamed eye sights the giver
through the gun that was given.
It feels that many fingers pull the trigger.