A— uses more ordnance in a single campaign than B— used in epochs of imperial rule *

May you not be subjected to civilizing missions

May you want to continue more than you want to stop

May God move your muscles as you lie there

May you be passed over by the local police

May God spare you the mornings of steady heat

May your computers learn to make the dead talk

May no one stop your ears to the bee-hum

May none indulge in witty banter before the eerie video clip

May God roll in, the fog in the first cool hour

May your weeping with remembrance be in slippers

May you be forcible within your heart

May your fertile regions not be barbarized, nor your large populations

May you dine in restaurants and work in offices

May the light enlarge thy days                             

May God occupy thy country

* from “The Curious Case of American Hegemony,” David C. Hendrickson, World Policy Journal


Mary Gilliland is the author of The Ruined Walled Castle Garden (2020), winner of the Bright Hill Press Chapbook Competition. Recent poems and commentary also appear in The Fiddlehead, Stand, TAB, and Vallum. Honors include Ann Stanford and Pablo Neruda poetry prizes and a Stanley Kunitz Fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Alice Fulton has called Gilliland “by turns mystical and realist” with a vision “profound and enduring,” and describes the work in her newest book as “sinewy” and “nuanced”—“poems that understand earth—and consciousness—as gardens that no walls or enchantments can protect.”


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