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The Birds and the Bees

Paul Lojeski: In the thunder of our undoing, how do I explain to her why we didn’t stop it?
birds and bees

The Birds and The Bees

This child next to me
knows nothing yet
of bombs and flesh

rendered cinders
in the swirling blood
storm pounding down

across deserts and
mountains, down
broken highways,

over burning cities;
this man made violence
the atmospherics

of daily toil, monsters
of imagination roaring
to life. In the thunder

of our undoing, how do
I explain to her why
we didn’t stop it?

2 old guys in the lunchroom

we’re about the same age, Mike and me.
both a decade past having any business
being in a room like this but here we are,
so we skip the obvious of everything

and nibble at the bits we’ve brought
from home, each watching the clock
out of one eye, not thinking about time
really, except in the shortest of short

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terms as in there are seven minutes left
before we have to punch back in; besides
it’s not an uncomfortable place--no
war zone hell, no heavy caliber stuff

punching fist-sized holes in the walls,
a relative safety here in the belly
of Empire, in the heat of its dying
engines. Anyway, he tells me

about the open heart surgery two
years ago and he’s got this odd,
distant look about him, as if he
can’t shake the cold touch of empty

from back then and he’s skittish,
looking around while he talks like
he’s on watch, on the lookout
for the dread he knows is out

there in the vastness, gliding back
effortlessly his way. He’s got me
on guard, too, jumpy, trying hard
to see what can never be seen.

In the Losing

What’s important is not
what they’ve done to us.

What’s important is how
easily we accepted it.

Word of Mouth

When I was
a kid my
parents said
it was the
best time
to be alive
because
we lived in
the greatest
country in
the world.
I never
told my
daughter
that lie.

Paul Lojeski