6.16 / December 2011

A Small War Has Ended

And I am waiting for the love parade,
the 11 o’clock news to tell us who’s won,
who’s lost. Peace in our time, the papers
promise again, to which the radio answers
with white smoke, the perpetual logic of static.
A girl needs a gun these days on account
of all the resonant memories. We inaugurate
our next affair with the thunderous gallop
of kettle drums. The soldiers burn cities
and towns as soldiers do, and I drink just
enough to be able to sue for peace. A woman-
my once and future wife-recites the terms
of my surrender from her perch on the davenport:
you be me for a while, and I’ll be you.

Steve Kistulentz's first book, THE LUCKLESS AGE (Red Hen Press, 2011), was selected by Nick Flynn as winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award. Individual poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines including the Antioch Review, New England Review and Quarterly West, and have been honored with appearances in Best New Poets and The Helen Burns Anthology: New Voices From the Academy of American Poets. "A Small War Has Ended" is taken from a newly completed manuscript, LITTLE BLACK DAYDREAM. He currently is an assistant professor of English at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, where he lives with his family.
6.16 / December 2011