Because you are five, I say airplanes crashed
and you say where is our flag and I say look
at those roses, breaking open—little mouths
on our walk to school. You scuff and work
out the equation: if airplanes crashed
on a surface like this—you drag the concrete,
then there would be fire. Yes, and now
I walk through a curtain of printer paper
a flock of fallen paper people, arms spread.
Yes, I say—there was fire and I mean is.
From Hunger Mountain Issue 23: Silence & Power, which you can purchase here.
Art by Jason Fowler, curated by Dana Lyons.
Amelia Martens is the author of THE SPOONS IN THE GRASS ARE THERE TO DIG A MOAT (Sarabande Books, 2016), and four poetry chapbooks, including URSA MINOR (elsewhere magazine, 2018). She is the recipient of a 2019 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council; her work has also been supported by the Kentucky Foundation for Women and a SAF fellowship to Rivendell Writer’s Colony. She is mom to two awesome daughters.