Firing Squad

by Ilya Kaminsky

On balconies, sunlight. On poplars, sunlight, on our lips.
Today no one is shooting.
A girl cuts her hair with imaginary scissors—
the scissors in sunlight, her hair in sunlight.
Another girl nicks a pair of shoes from a sleeping soldier, skewered with light.
As soldiers wake and gape at us gaping at them,
what do they see?
Tonight they shot fifty women on Lerna Street.
I sit down to write and tell you what I know:
a child learns the world by putting it in her mouth,
a girl becomes a woman and a woman, earth.
Body, they blame you for all things and they
seek in the body what does not live in the body.

Last updated April 03, 2023