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Tuesday, November 24, 2015


by David Chorlton

Security forces stood guard on Rue des Bouchers, a street famous for its restaurants, on Monday in Brussels. Credit Stephanie Lecocq/European Pressphoto Agency via NY Times, Nov. 23, 2015

What happens far away
is audible in the pause
between movements:
                  the silence
of a transit system stilled, the rustling
curtains when somebody looks out
at troops in the street, asking
       does anyone appear suspicious?
              does anyone not?
The world stretched taut as a wire
ready to snap,
            ready to snap,
with cities shut down
and the news ticker telling us
to stay calm,
           stay calm,
the bomb is in our minds,
and it is,
      where nobody knows
               how to defuse it.

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications on- and off-line, and reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. His most recent book, A Field Guide to Fire, is his contribution to the 2015 Fires of Change exhibition in Flagstaff, Arizona.