Casualties Of War by Michael H. Brownstein

There are things you must explain to me
darkness is one, the red flare of light another

Again the morning sky overcast and dust,
a pallor of bruised flesh and blackened eyes.
Again the rains do not come, a stutter of thunder,
lightning the blink of a bulb burning out. Nothing more.

Every child who died before birth from Agent Orange poisoning
entered the night sky a new star—
every child who died before the age of ten from Agent Orange poisoning
entered the day sky dust particles and acid.

Again the afternoon dry and quiet, the wind
curse words and disease, a spread of injury.
Again evening came with the silence of the screech owl.
Again the sky cleared, the stars shined,

we could see clearly exactly what we caused.

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. He has nine poetry chapbooks including Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013).

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