Justin Evans

          Died some, pro patria
                    —Ezra Pound

We are dressed in white, our limbs
working in unison, performing a dance.
While my lungs fill with the cool night air,
I inhale and exhale, marking time
with the cadence. We sing jody calls
to the living, now macabre matins:
Hum diddy dum dum diddy hum
Hum diddy dum dum diddy hum.

As in all my dreams, there is a moment
when I cannot help but see the future
stretch out before my eyes like kite paper.
I see their lovely bodies, their beautiful faces—
angelic and eternally sophomoric,
but can do nothing to save them. I am
forced to keep to the black tar roads,
stay on course, and set the pace.

Stars drop like birds beneath the weight
of morning, their descent swift as the cold,
thrown at the thinnest line of morning light.
Though dreaming, I cannot help but think
I am a criminal, that in my youth I escaped
this kind of death. Somehow I have cheated
these young boys with the ease at which
I still run between this world and the next.

We are always running east into the sun
as if we are trying to win a race,
though there are no more races for us.
No thoughts of competition in our minds,
nothing of the living world left within
the corpus which might explain our movements.
If death is a simple equation, our formation is
the mathematical remainder of a "just war."

Justin Evans

Justin Evans teaches history while living in rural Nevada with his wife and three sons. There he is a recovering high school English teacher who has been sober since June 9th, 2006. His second chapbook, Gathering up the Scattered Leaves, was released by Foothills Publishing in 2006. His poetry is forthcoming in Terrain, and RE:AL.