Like magic

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Professor insists DEMOCRACIES DO NOT GO TO WAR.
Is it a genocide if everyone had a vote?

FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND the Bikinians were relocated to a neighbouring atoll. Their Kind said, “We go believing everything is in the hands of God.” Fifteen atomic sunrises later

the place is safe enough for tourists to demystify, advertised alongside package tours to Chernobyl and Gettysburg and NAME A CONCENTRATION CAMP.

There are trees today on Bikini Atoll older than this green author. Large mammals thrive within the Cold War’s half-life. The blonde old President graces the battlefield, won’t be cowed by allegations—HE’LL SUE EVERY SINGLE ONE. Before free trips to Israel, Jewish pilgrims may pay to see a concentration camp.

An atoll is a coral tiara where a volcano was, or

an atoll is a stain where the Big Gulp was.

The benevolent general said, “In our country we have a saying: YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN.” The benevolent government said, “Have a half billion,” then skimped on stamps, closed the office, and the benevolent society loyalists said, “Cash for cheques and envelopes? Didn’t y’hear, we just promised the vicitms a half billion?”

“Didn’t y’know a lagoon’s a lake where there was a volcano? That pristine situation a by-product of primordial violence? The Jews got Israel, the slaves some Freedom. Imagine what beauty’s due for America again.”

~

The prompt was things you cannot see in their entirety, like atolls. The photo is from the Associated Press.

The Ends of Civilization

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It is a slash year. The crews saw west
grimacing the border. By Oregon/BC, the Vermont/
Quebec gap chews sapling. How many thousand miles
or kilometres back did we last crack
“Coast Guard Moses got it made.”

It is the election year, the one we learned
the atomic weight of words, figured how many
could carry a razor. The Earth’s longest border
its largest, most harmless scar.
Every six years, no one speaks of

the crew threading coast, from Maine/Nova Scotia
camp-stove and credit card fully-fueled.
From just high enough, ants chisel away forest.
A crawling sensation. Handmade imperfection. Law.

***

For National Novel Writing Month, I’m writing a poem a day. They may wind up with a overarching narrative, they may not. I’m receiving daily prompts from my partner, and new poems should be published the day after they are written. The prompt for today’s poem was the Slash, the 20-foot-wide gap in the treeline demarcating the Canada-US border.

Photo Source: Vermont Seven Days

Flint

(A Canadian Poem)

Mr. Davis taught American History Through Film;
an eleventh grade elective. Towards years’ end he screened
Roger & Me, gonzo-documentarian Michael Moore’s love-song
for his hometown of Flint, Michigan, victim of the nineteen-eighties.
After Apocalypse Now, I was ready to hate Americans some more.

There is an out-of-place, third act scene
where Moore meets a woman who stuck with Flint
and took to raising rabbits to survive. Matter-of-factly
she flips the skin off one while explaining the new regulations
for rabbit-keeping the state has introduced. Mr. Davis hit pause.

“Look at this,” in his baritone. “Watch this.” He rewound too far
and we had to re-watch some other scene first, and while I’m waiting
I’m thinking, why the fuck is he making us watch this again?
What the fuck’s his problem? I can’t un-see this shit.