The night we started bombing Baghdad,
the flat American voices describing
those whumps, those scattering torcs of light
like the Electrical Parade at Disneyland,
and I went into the stock room where
you were turning from a lower shelf,
in your hand a book we’d argued over –
Heart of Darkness, perhaps, or Lord of the Flies
when you’d said evil’s never final
and I said it was. Still the old scar at
your neck, your flyaway hair, your breathless voice
eager to persuade but not offend.
You said, “I’m allowed back for a time.
Don’t cry.”We had more talk I can’t remember
and I woke smiling, believing I was wrong.