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Alien Fire

ISSUE:  Spring 2012

Late Saturday afternoon, late winter,
they sway and clap, not wanting

to let the chorus go, and when their teacher asks,
What are you, dead?

a boy jumps onto the table, his best shoes
finding plastic cups and leftovers,

and another takes a friend onto his back,
as if spinning in circles, faster and tighter,

answered the question. To run to god
and return: when you close your eyes and sing,

know the first boy atop the table
yesterday taught a prisoner how to pray

and tonight will wait in line to swab
the inside of his cheek because he heard

a Jew somewhere is sick.


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