The Smoke Of The Country Went Up

By Iain Haley Pollock

Drop fire from the sky but don’t name me
as reason. My sister is lost on the longest lit road

in the world. She wanders into shoe stores
the hour before close and chews the stock

back to rawhide. My father’s workshop tools
have broken into open rebellion—he worked

and worked them to the bone. Any second now
the circular saw will churn through the basement door

and into the kitchen, gnawing the floor to spit
and sawdust. Out West my cousin has soldered

the mirrored lenses of police-issue sunglasses
over his ocular cavities. All he sees is wrong.

Alert the Department of the Interior: our enemies
are inside the fence. Drop fire from the sky

but don’t expect it to purify their hate.
Or, if it does, it’ll burn me clean with the rest.

Here’s my hope for salvation: when the stranger
comes knocking, open my arms wide with the door

and give him whatever he takes.

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