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In Our Late Empire, Love

Malachi Black on

Published in Poem Of The Day

drops from upper air,
like rain,
clinging brightly
to the fresh-cut hair
of children
and the infantry:
all hail
the clicking heel, all will
regale
the shrinking light
with grains
of wedding rice, of salt,
of sands as fit
a last brassy parade:
the marching band
will soften
with its growing-distant
drum,
the oscillating hand
will stop
its waving
soon enough, soon
enough;
here now, the motorcade
hums
gaily through the citizens'
applause
and the children's eyes
bronze faintly
with the glint
of far-off fireworks,
or firebombs,
or falling evening stars.


About this poem
"'In Our Late Empire, Love' emerged from a curious sense of living in the political equivalent of [John] Keats' 'posthumous existence'-a post-apex, late-imperial America-and I became interested in the idea of a domestic analogue to the 'letter from the field.' Recent events at home and abroad were of influence as well."
-Malachi Black

About Malachi Black
Malachi Black is the author "Storm Toward Morning" (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). He teaches at the University of San Diego and lives in California.

***
The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.

(c) 2014 Malachi Black. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate



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