by David Ray

The vote was a hundred to one, a clear
majority. At the stroke of midnight,
no more death, at least in the style
we have come to know and love.

For the next thousand years, walled
in like a garden, we will contrive
another style altogether, think up
other names for our pastimes.

As for Eden we will call it a landfill,
seal it off with the debris from our wars,
thousands of weapons of great ingenuity.

We will miss them, of course, when
we abandon this age of ruin and ravage—
but not until midnight. Meanwhile
there are a few more missions to fly,

a few more bombs to let fall, a few more
secrets to hide in our vaults. Deadlines,
deadlines! We have always had deadlines,
lines of the dead winding all over the earth.

It will be strange, the new world, the long
and boring peace, the love of unlovable strangers.



by David Ray

The act of taking out the clip
of rubber bullets
and inserting the other

is an act of great magnitude.
The Rose of Sharon explodes
in petals of bright blood

on the chest of a boy
and there are a few more holes
on the wall, and more wailing.


© 2017 David Ray. All Rights Reserved.

The picture, a detail of “Rubbish Dump – Eden (Landfill)” by Ian Burt, is published under a Creative Commons license.

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