Today's poem is by Caitlin Bailey

How We Prepared for War

It was necessary to become cold. To forget the lives
we'd dreamed of. The days were taut and full of smoke.
Our pockets were mostly empty. We practiced crawling
through progressively smaller holes. Made quick work
of a tangled bandage. You served me poisoned, oily fish
until my mouth became a bell that only you could hear.
I came to crave the lovely pain—my strange want—
and ate the fish with gusto. Every day prepared us
for the next explosion, a new desire. I lived as though
you moved the earth, its axis stilled when you entered a room.
The slow ravage of my gut surprised no one. When the war began
I would stand stupid and stunned, unconvinced the world
could throttle on beyond our pause, our meticulous training.

Copyright © 2013 Caitlin Bailey All rights reserved
from Hayden's Ferry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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