Sept. 21, 2005: LOVE IN THE TIME OF WAR (Yusef Komunyakaa)

Monday’s Verse will be on hiatus until late October.

This week’s selection is from pulitzer prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa, Viet
Nam War veteran, Louisiana native, and member of the embarrassingly
talented writing faculty that Princeton U. is hoarding from the rest of
the world. -ed.


When our hands caress bullets & grenades,
or linger on the turrets & luminous wings
of reconnaissance planes, we leave glimpses
of ourselves on the polished hardness.
We surrender skin, hair, sweat & fingerprints.
The assembly lines hum to our touch,
& the grinding wheels record our laments
& laughter into the bright metal.

I touch your face, your breasts, the flower
holding a world in focus. We give ourselves
to each other, letting the workday slide
away. Afterwards, lying there facing the sky,
I touch the crescent-shaped war wound. Yes,
the oldest prayer is still in my fingertips.



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