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This poem is taken from PN Review 229, Volume 42 Number 5, May - June 2016.

Two Poems Amali Rodrigo

I was sun-blind and listening to the sound of water
in wind, in desert sand, water in everything but

the river or the low trough where horses once drank
the sun. What survives is a tiny archipelago of wrecks,

the river an artery that bled out and out, became
an emboss of bone and I want to ask you if you truly

believe it is brave to enlist in war that is like the distant
sound of water with its cryptic messages of a safer world.

Thinking of you entering airspace, anonymous over sleep,
to leave trails of diamonds on the earth in one burst

of creation and your getaway mistaken for a star’s blink,
can I forgive that you can’t tell apart fleeing from stalking:

those beneath your bombs or prospectors straggling
across a desert to Kolmanskop driven by legends

of diamonds the size of men’s hearts on riverbeds as if

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