Sep/Oct 2018 • Vol. XL No. 5 PoetrySeptember 1, 2018 |

The Memory of Teeth

You know that when Tojo tried to kill himself he had a doctor first mark the spot of his heart with charcoal, but the bullet still missed and lodged in his stomach, right? You know they had surgeons around to patch him up but not enough gasoline to get an ambulance there right away, right? You know that in prison they gave him new dentures, the enamel etched with dots and dashes: “Remember Pearl Harbor.” You know his war medals sit on display in a Pensacola museum? You know his nickname was “The Razor”? You know, toward the end, when the Nazis had the first jet fighter in history and no fuel, they had to hitch cows to its nose and roll it onto the runway? You know that, right? You know that in Mie Prefecture they tear down the Shinto shrine every twenty years then rebuild it, so that the knowledge of how to build it survives? No one, as far as I know, taught me how to destroy the way I do.

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Brian Michael Murphy
Brian Michael Murphy’s poems have appeared in Narrative, Waxwing, Birmingham Poetry Review, Queen Mob’s Tea House, and elsewhere. He is a faculty member in Media Studies at Bennington College and an instructor in the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. He holds a PhD in comparative studies from the Ohio State University, where he was a Presidential Fellow and is currently writing a nonfiction book titled We the Dead.

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Canary

By Rita Dove

You know that when Tojo tried to kill himself he had a doctor first mark the spot of his heart with charcoal, but the bullet still missed and lodged in […]

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