Cynthia Hogue

The Mind Before War
        with a line by Wallace Stevens

The mind of anger isn’t good.
When others enter its field,
words riddle them. "Who’s good?"

“Whose good?” the dead call
beneath thin, gray trees with
shorn branches. Along empty streets,

the houses are dark, still,
as if raided, and those within,
fled. The mind harboring terror

slips out of season,
and embodiment’s consequences.
The good is evil’s last invention.
It casts aspersions like stones.

© 2005 Electronic Poetry Review