Kosovo

i.

orthodox delineations of language,

tradition-

undercuts ragged morning hills,

broken bridges between endless

peaks and lakes deep into nowhere

nothing is beautiful here.

ii.

once they watched in wonder

as the german peacekeeper

screamed his harshest tongue,

stubborn silence of prison-

speak loosened, and then

flooded.

the americans leaned on their guns

watched the progression with

secret smiles.

it is nice to know nothing changes.

iii.

they do not blend in

they stand out

they listen to rock music

it reminds them of the desert,

and the complexity shattered in

sound, where the ground shifts,

opens, and-

here, it's said

there will be no

killing.

iv.

falcons grasp at the crumbling scree and lift off to the height of alpine sky

while in the fields the lambs are killed for easter.

the sergeant finishes his patrol.

he writes his mother.

maybe he will learn some other history, he says to himself,

when he comes home.

v.

he sits in

the bright-

fluorescent

industrial light

stares at the lesson

played in rote

remembrance,

doesn't take notes

watches the girls

fix their hair,

lean their elbows on

the table,

bite their pens

any dream comes crying, he sends it on

home sends it on to that small new place

that never meant all that much to him, no

promise at all.