shrapnel

at night we fall asleep
to the drumbeat of fire
bullets ricochet off sand
dunes, mountains echo
and we wonder: what is the size
of the future?
the maps here are forever
unfinished, every phone call
a grenade, we forfeit
festivals and beach time
while mothers measure the space
between the towel and the bomb
shelter and fathers hang their bullet
proof vests out to dry, soldiers
on buses trade stories
about corpses, smartphones
the newest form of rumor
mill, sirens sound in our dreams
and we see plants growing
in windows and shoes, hanging
from rooftops and lovers who sleep
undisturbed in the same beds
dreams like chandeliers that
shatter crystal shrapnel
hold me down, my love
under these impossible stars
press your dirty mouth to mine
the cedars cost too much here
and there is never enough water
to wash anything away

 

***

 

Rena Rossner is a graduate of the Writing Seminars program at The Johns Hopkins University. She also holds degrees from Trinity College Dublin and McGill University. She currently works as a literary and foreign rights agent at The Deborah Harris Agency in Jerusalem, Israel. Her poetry and short fiction has been published or is forthcoming from Carve Magazine, Midwest Quarterly, The Mayo Review, Thin Air Magazine, Rattle, Chicago Literati, Arc 23, JewishFiction.net and more. Her cookbook, Eating the Bible, has been translated into 5 language and is published by Skyhorse Press.

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