our fathers tell of their wars:

 
of living among 
the ghosts of
their dying;

             of frogs 
             they scooped out of ditches
             and made sing in their bellies.

vines stretched along
ruined fences where dirt
was betrothed to clay.

             what of their papers?
             did they have gold teeth or rings
             to trade for rice or fish?

of those returned:
one of them becomes a barber.
one of them slits animals open

             to look for their missing hearts.
             one of them sits by the sea
             folding his hands into roofs

or a wedding veil. one 
imagines immortality as an island 
of ants patched on hot asphalt—
  
              god tries to read 
              their letters but can't
              unlock the code.

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