Summer 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 3/4 Poetry |

The Propaganda of Memory

You stand in the picture, all khaki and gleam, where the sun found you grinning around the stump of a cigar, holding a wooden friar ransacked from a French churchyard. In the field of smoke-banked light behind you, in the rubble of gas masks and shell casings, helmets sparkle, and the leftovers of battle bend to the impossible will of forgetfulness. The breeze lifting your hair has lost the stale smell stolen from the mouths of dead men, and this you, drawn together by light, silver particles suspended in emulsion, is freed from the thickness of the scene, frozen in the twitch of a photographer's finger, leaving you remembering this moment the same way glass remembers sand.

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Kicking

By Charlie Smith

You stand in the picture, all khaki and gleam, where the sun found you grinning around the stump of a cigar, holding a wooden friar ransacked from a French churchyard. […]

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