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Summer
2008

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Fear Sonata
Bob Hoeppner

I'm walking on arrows.
I've got bows above my feet
and quiver at everyone I meet.
Signs order my beliefs.
If I don't obey, I'll pay.
Every night they pour harm in a glass,
put it in themselves, and let it out again.
It's how pain gets around,
from mouth to drain, runs underground,
out the spigot again.
So many drink from that fountain
who would burn the world down
to its axis-- just a stick spinning in space
over the uncovered head of the moon.
But I behave
while the world goes absofrickin crazy.
Bearded bastards bivouacked in
untouchable mountains reach out
and spark morons into bombs.
They send others out to die
while they eat and wipe their mouths.
Wait-- which side am I talking about?
 
I can tap my foot to the rhythm
forgetting the beating of women.
I can appreciate beauty
forgetting those raped for indecency.
Such big anger from such little men.
I wonder why they can't forgive
for relatives collaterally damaged,
when they're so keen to do it themselves.
Then I think if it happened to mine
I'd want to kill them all.
Perhaps I must
if they already feel like that.
 
There's a boy smiling
who doesn't know he'll be a terrorist.
There's a girl with a doll
who doesn't know she'll intercept him.
If we raise our children
while they warp theirs,
as long as we walk the arrows
while they lock-step with Allah,
as long as we pass on poison
while they chug-a-lug it in madrassahs,
we just might live a while
before they bury us
in the ash of what we built
that put their puniness in shadow.
They can stand over ash.
They can toss shade
in granulated hate.
It's all they can do.
And one must do something
when one is nothing
in a world of everything.