The Iowa Review - - GRAHAM BARNHART -

First: HE rounds

their kicked-up smoke dust same color as what­ever earth they strike.

Noth­ing seen we know them by bel­lows thump­ing bare hills

be­yond the bombed-out tank hulks we were sup­posed to hit.

A thun­der you can set your watch to. Next: il­lume rounds

packed light and smoke and shot too low

start fires in the tall grass. Imag­ine th­ese man-made stars wash­ing

night like pho­to­graph half de­vel­oped. In day­light, just ash drag­ging fields

that aren’t al­lowed to burn. Of course: over there

if the wheat crops, or the poppy har­vest go to roast, we won’t

wait for the fires to die out safely. We can leave as soon we start them.

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