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Friday, May 11, 2007


by Stan Marcus

Is it possible for a country to run out of people?
Every day in a country I prefer not to name 30,
40, or 50 people are killed in various ways. Is it
possible that one day the last surviving native of

the country gets killed and there's no one left? Well,
maybe the killer, but then he would probably move
to an adjacent counry because there'd be no one around
to grow food. What happens to the country then?

Does the land it was on get squashed by surrounding
countries? And what if a foreign force is occupying
the country and the force suddenly finds there aren't
any natives left to understand their country is being

liberated, and, in fact, the liberators have become
its only inhabitants? I guess the liberators can then
declare the country part of their country. But that move
could upset other countries and then the liberators

could begin losing 30, 40, or 50 people a day until
there are none of them left either. This rumination is
ridiculous. Even in a full-scale war not all the people
in a country get killed. There are plenty of people.

Stan Marcus's poems have appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Stand, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, Poetry East, The Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, The Minnesota Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Denver Quarterly, College English, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Confrontation, Permafrost, GW Review, Ironwood, Kansas Quarterly, and other periodicals, and online at The New Verse News and The Pedestal Magazine. Two of his poems were included in the anthology For a Living—The Poetry of Work, published by the University of Illinois Press.