Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2020  Vol. 19 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Firing Squad

On balconies, sunlight. On poplars, sunlight, on our lips.
Today no one is shooting.
A girl cuts her hair with imaginary scissors—
the scissors in sunlight, her hair in sunlight.
Another girl nicks a pair of shoes from a sleeping soldier, skewered with light.
As soldiers wake and gape at us gaping at them,
what do they see?
Tonight they shot fifty women at Lerna Street.
I sit down to write and tell you what I know:
a child learns the world by putting it in her mouth,
a girl becomes a woman and a woman, earth.
Body, they blame you for all things and they
seek in the body what does not live in the body.  

From Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky. Reprinted with permissions from Graywolf Press.

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