By Jim Cohn

A blue 86 Volvo truck
carrying cinder blocks overturns
the cab bashed in
blood splattered on the hand-made road
stones set in sand

where the double-long-bus riders stand
& the mule with its long black spine
pulls a cartload of salted peanuts
& a farmer pushes his bicycle
loaded down with sacks of yellow
tobacco leaves.

On this corner of the world
the once-living are now memory bodies
carved into war monuments
hung by the neck
slung behind bars
& every house looks broken into only once

like a missing tooth
in the one-armed gypsy's gape
at each passing woman's arms,
as the widow
with black stockings sewn at the run,
as the teenage soldier
in skinny-belted drab fatigues
shining boots
with a page
from the news,
as the rare blond
in jeans with ants on her cuffs.
Yet in the park, a woman appears
wearing a modest flower-print dress
and then, without warning, emerges a man
from the trees
just taking a stroll after a days factory grind,
his pants ironed
his hair washed & combed
& so casual
is the air of their meeting
as they sit on a bench
as they laugh in the shade. (Prelip, Yugoslavia--10.V111.86)

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