Who am I that I sit here at this door?
In my dream, there is a long alley, a place I learn Want.
The city is a mirror. Inside my reflection, old men are on fire—
Flaming like red kaffiyahs.
Litter ignites into funeral flares; the bread of the dead is baking.
Above the moans of children, soldiers warm their hands.
Avenues widen into downpour, detours unfold, flower into cemeteries.
Into this narrow place, two rivers clash.
Am I the one covered with brine, smelling of tides?
Or am I the stone, lifted like a flag?
Veronica Golos won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize (Story Line Press) for A Bell Buried Deep. In her newest book, Vocabulary of Silence, (Red Hen Press, Feb. 2010) are powerfully wrought poems that witness and respond to the continued wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza—a mirror in which we see and hear the names of war’s dead, their ghosts, and ourselves. Most recently, her poems have been or about to be published in Drunken Boat, Pedestal, Pemmican, Press 1, Bridges, Squaw Valley Review, Meridians, and other presses.