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Now That We Are Finally At War || Timmy Straw

Now That We Are Finally at War


Take a school on fire, for instance.

The teachers catch flame

but the lessons won’t burn –

they disperse aerially, over the gym.

Separated from their wardens they’re useless,

like a caretaker of genitals.  We are left here,

patting down the trees to make

sure they are real. Remember the season for tubers,

for the dentist in the snow

clapping his gloves together, and for the dead?

What remains

of the dismantled music.


Some of us beat on the fire with our coats:

the whole neighborhood turns out to watch.

Smokeless women who knew us as children,

and men clamming the reservoirs, marking us up

with engineered blows;

we join and become them

and go chirping down to the foundations.

Heaven hovers unfinished,

a few stars come up through the soil.

We learn to mourn, to inquire.

Faith makes us take what we don’t want.

We sully ourselves first, to make sense of it,

and then later,

carrying our parents

through the snow,

notice the exhalations of a rabbit

making the winter mild. Now that we are finally at war,

we can begin.



Timmy Straw is a writer and musician living in Portland, OR. She also studies Russian at Reed College.  Most recently, Timmy was recognized by the Academy of American Poets for the poem ‘Tundra Cinema’ and was commissioned to compose music for a dance company in the Netherlands. She is working on second album. Excerpts of the first, State Parks, can be heard here: www.timmystraw.com.