There are soldiers in mother’s hair
and soldiers coming in the window.
Distracted? I am driven.
I can’t stop chattering
with history hissing its heat.
Grave raincoat-shouldered people
with their own histories, bad
histories, drink to their bitterness
and chide us for our efforts.
What is there other than I forget?
I can’t read the papers or your face
on the phone. Give it up is the answer, is
is the answer, aghast as a verb.
The rain’s washed most of our skin off.
How does it feel during a war?
A silence stirs.