The Spaceship in Tamri

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Above it was a sign welcoming refugees          a poster
of Sonny Rollins blowing the world into another.
The roof is gone     burned away
so it could land where it could.

The aliens we are recognize its jeweled
lights       its saffron smoke.
Save us from this relentlessness
as our armor flakes.

What we make      makes this place burn.
Our joy of burning joy into atmosphere
but this air isn’t owned by the joyous.
Something other rules        claims possession

of what we breathe      the rays on our skin.
We are playing
music       saxophones       drums       something
stringed       jeweled as olive branches thrash.

We have wept in Florence.
Have reddened in Chinguetti.
Have understood this place as merely itself.
But save us from this.

That afternoon     the fish was cooked
with cauliflower. Eaten with torn
bread     green oil that smelled of rosemary.
The fisherman smelled rosemary in wind.

He saw the sky burning.
The red village burns.
Save that which burns.
Save us from their burning.

Myronn Hardy’s most recent book of poems, Radioactive Starlings, was published by Princeton University Press.

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