Volume 24, Number 3

Saying Goodbye to the Bush Years

Finally you’re falling with the autumn leaves;
soon your torn shapes will no longer be
distinguishable, only a rot on which we tread.

Still I grieve your passing, you eight years darker
than the rest, because I lived also in you,
found pressed between the bombed mind and

the stone dawn a light, if only the fine
red knife’s-edge of resistance to your brazen
criminality, your breathtaking “Fuck you.”

If only we could reverse the damage,
re-start your millennial engine, restore
the innocence of blank calendar pages—

Though I walk away bloody-handed, I’d
press my lips to yours if I could breathe back
into you the dreaming lost to nightmare.

—Thomas R. Smith