Residents identify a relative from among the bodies of those who were killed during Tuesday's bomb attack in Hilla, about 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, March 7, 2007. Insurgents killed 149 Shi'ite pilgrims heading for the holy Iraqi city of Kerbala on Tuesday, including 115 when two suicide bombers blew themselves up in one of the deadliest attacks of the 4-year-war.
REUTERS/Ali Jasim (IRAQ)
How Can It Be I Am No Longer I
by Lucie Brock-Broido
Winter was the ravaging in the scarified
Ghost garden, a freak of letters crossing down a rare
Path bleak with poplars. Only the yew were a crewel
Of kith at the fieldstone wall, annulled
As a dulcimer cinched in a green velvet sack.
To be damaged is to endanger--taut as the stark
Throats of castrati in their choir, lymphless & fawning
& pale. The miraculous conjoining
Where the beamless air harms our self & lung,
Our three-chambered heart & sternum,
Where two made a monstrous
Braid of other, ravishing.
To damage is an animal hunch
& urge, thou fallen--the marvelous much
Is the piece of Pleidaes the underworld calls
The nightsky from their mud & rime. Perennials
Ghost the ground & underground the coffled
Veins, an aneurism of the ice & spectacle.
I would not speak again. How flinching
The world will seem--in the lynch
Of light as I sail home in a winter steeled
For the deaths of the few loved left living I will
Always love. I was a flint
To bliss & barbarous, a bristling
Of tracks like a starfish carved on his inner arm,
A tindering of tissue, a reliquary, twinned.
A singe of salt-hay shrouds the orchard-skin,
That I would be--lukewarm, mammalian, even then,
In winter when moss sheathes every thing alive
& everything not or once alive.
That I would be--dryadic, gothic, fanatic against
The vanishing; I will not speak to you again.