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Friday, April 11, 2014


by Margaret Rozga

He squints through his narrow glasses, looking
above the shoulder and beyond the ear
of the journalist.

He takes the numerical part
of the question, ruminates,
Two, three.  Not so many.

He draws his lip in an upward
arch flat against his face.  His teeth edge
into the opening of what passes for a smile.

Death falls from the sky
Death marches on the capitol.
Truck bombs, IEDs, rocket propelled grenade launchers.
Death strikes back.

Put death in prison.  Abu Ghraib.  Guantanamo.
A black hole at Bagram.  Secret centers of interrogation.
Enhanced death.

Waterboard until the interrogated wish they were dead.
Construct your smile out of this vacuum.

Margaret Rozga has published two books, Two Hundred Nights and One Day and Though I Haven’t Been to Baghdad.  Her most recent poems and book reviews appear in the Spring 2014 issue of Verse Wisconsin online.