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Sunday, January 10, 2016

COLLATERAL DAMAGE, OR NOTE TO A FRIEND FOR ELECTION DAY

by Billy Clem






Imagine a city where nothing’s
forgiven    your deed adheres
to you like a scar, a tattoo    but almost everything’s
forgotten . . . 
—Adrienne Rich, “Rusted Legacy”


When you follow any code, given or stolen,
echoes come through opaque threads discovered
necessary as drone attacks whose trajectories
leave you a euphemism and a mother and her child
wrapped in heavy black preparing mutton and maize,
or absconding  to a school, or weaving the bits
and flecks of a life never really their own
suspended in a space not your city or home today
but available as your spare, collectable change.


Billy Clem, a gay and disabled radical feminist, lives outside Chicago where he teaches writing and literature. His work has appeared in Radical Teacher, Counterexample Poetics, and Moon City Review.