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Politics

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This is what he dreams of:
a map of burned land,
a mound of dirt
in the early century’s winter.
 
A map of burned land?
A country is razed
in the early century’s winter.
And God descends.
 
A country is raised
because of industry.
And God descends,
messengers rush inside
 
because of industry,
in spite of diplomats.
Messengers rush inside
to haunt the darkened aisles.
 
In spite of diplomats,
the witnesses know well
to haunt the darkened aisles,
experimentally—
 
the witnesses know well
that ushers dressed in black
experimentally
lurk by the cushioned seats.
 
That ushers dress in black
should tell you something:
lurking by the cushioned seats,
the saved and the terrible.
 
I should tell you something:
this is what he dreams of,
the saved and the terrible—
a mound of dirt.

Randall Mann, "Politics" from Breakfast with Thom Gunn. Copyright © 2009 by Randall Mann.  Reprinted by permission of The University of Chicago Press.
Source: Breakfast with Thom Gunn (The University of Chicago Press, 2009)
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Politics

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