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Still, The Civil War

Paul Lojeski: Wagons loaded with wounded and the lost rolled homeward, prisoner of war camps emptied out their damaged souls, flames finally ebbing in ruined cities.
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Still, The Civil War

Wagons loaded with wounded
and the lost rolled homeward,
prisoner of war camps emptied
out their damaged souls, flames
finally ebbing in ruined cities.

Slavery and a vile way of life
abolished but surrender
tendered no capitulation,
as the world witnesses
today the crimes

committed by descendants
of the vanquished, united
in bitter hatred of color.
Still waving their flag
of death, impudently defying

history’s verdict, knowing
full well the battle still rages,
while they still rage and
as long as they breathe,
that civil war shall be waged.

Flags Don’t Fly at Night

When the sun slides down
into deep pools of dusk,
patriots from sea to shining

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sea stand at attention and salute
and lower their incumbent flags;
chests puffed with pride, eyes

wet with sorrowful joy, as they
fold those sacred fabrics,
icons in the universal church

of blood and belief. Reverently
they transport their blessed banners
inside to protect them from

the coming darkness. And
thus the world becomes free
of flags. In the night. Liberated.

in the magic of mirrors

at the gym I watch
them watching
themselves:
a mob flexing,
lifting, gathered
before the mirrors.
staggered in odd
rows, so they’re
each able to catch
a glimpse
of themselves
in the bright glass,
to see what
they’ve been
taught is the most
important
thing in the world.

Paul Lojeski