the dead

the dead come dropping down
this time of year, as tanks pass
through neighborhoods of
flame, causing traffic jams
the radio plays questions:
when was your last kiss?
can a tank be a poem?
do airplanes fall in fields
of sunflowers?
everything that was once
new, has become our future
there are no clear paths to the sea
where lovers roll naked
in sand, and hotel strips
and bars are still taking down
the screens from World Cup
dreams, where roses grow
in ashtrays and last sunsets
fade into sorbet, summer
haze is burning steel
and camouflage now, every tire
a weapon, the mass destruction
of clouds mar our skies, as breaths
expand and wind contracts, the years
take themselves apart, hot
like bonfires on mountain-tops
smoke signals and the nightly
sound of gunfire or fireworks
you pick. give me your alcoholic
stars, your burned-out flocks of home-
made rockets, ice-popsicles and dreams
tell me: do televisions lie?
the wind is granulated here
cities are burning
when was your last kiss?





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, and more. Her cookbook, Eating the Bible, has been translated into 5 language and is published by Skyhorse Press.


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