Compline

By Philip Metres Philip Metres
That we await a blessed hope, & that we will be struck
With great fear, like a baby taken into the night, that every boot,

Every improvised explosive, Talon & Hornet, Molotov
& rubber-coated bullet, every unexploded cluster bomblet,

Every Kevlar & suicide vest & unpiloted drone raining fire
On wedding parties will be burned as fuel in the dark season.

That we will learn the awful hunger of God, the nerve-fraying
Cry of God, the curdy vomit of God, the soiled swaddle of God,

The constant wakefulness of God, alongside the sweet scalp
Of God, the contented murmur of God, the limb-twitched dream-

Reaching of God. We’re dizzy in every departure, limb-lost.
We cannot sleep in the wake of God, & God will not sleep

The infant dream for long. We lift the blinds, look out into ink
For light. My God, my God, open the spine binding our sight.

Source: Poetry (February 2012).

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2012
 Philip  Metres

Biography

Philip Metres is the author of numerous books, including To See the Earth (poetry, 2008), Come Together: Imagine Peace (anthology, 2008), Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (criticism, 2007), and Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Selected Poems of Lev Rubinstein (translation, 2004). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, and Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, God & the Divine, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

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