The shell arrives like a line from a poem,
explodes in the city’s heart.
Miles away, the guns rehearse their parts,
their cracked voices eager
as schoolchildren. Listen, poet:
can you hear the meter of your verses
in the bombs thudding to earth,
the bullets punctuating the sky?
Step out in the street and see
the planes streaking by
in perfect stanzas, accents in strict order,
contrails exactly rhymed;
notice how light death seems, how easy,
in their silver, aching lines.
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