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Civilization

The British journalist’s voice was spent as she said

(unenthusiastically, the interview now over), “Thanks,”

with the eager young insatiable American official

turning, then, to other matters.

But the voice

—a European’s, flat, well schooled in the world’s

hope-pulverizing particle storm’s gifts of disappointment—stayed,

the syllable’s slight elongation something on the order of

the querulous sendings of frail human wonderings out

into the void, as if the waning of her voice spoke

all of history’s ups and downs, a honeycomb’s packed maze of cells

whose lights shine through their tiny paper membranes

too thin not to be available to being torn,

light leaking from a world cracked open,

sky seen through the pavement I walk down.

from CivilizationFind more by Elizabeth Arnold at the library

Copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Arnold
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

Published in Elizabeth Arnold Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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