Two old pilots play chess in the park, hearing aids off,
cataract eyes unable to track disturbances
in an air of newsreel memories. Contrails corkscrew
toward animals cringing in their furs like dowagers
in a bad neighborhood and glint struck off a propeller
tells a story begun far from here, a parable unreeling
in air made luminous with silver nitrate and dust.
In their wars, charged images flicked past
too fast to register. Information received at 15 spins/second
always condenses thought to pudding, ricochets
off the exits and perpetual threat of fire. A riffle of stills
can fool the eye into a perception of continuous motion.
The brain fills in what's missing, blanks between light and light,
a corrugated sky hanging over the theater's false ceiling.
Wounds still bloom where there is a pounding in the temple,
fists full of summer poppies pushing through
the scarred gray crust of winter.
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