I read somewhere that matches
Are only so long and can light
At most two cigarettes because
If Americans in the trenches
Were to be lit up any longer
That fire could be seen by
Germans and our soldiers
Would no longer be safe.
What is safe, I say to myself
Under a waning moon on
The first day of November
When all saints are supposed
To be here and all I can hear
Are rats scurrying in the garage
And a raccoon rifling through
Recycling bins across the street.
Inside the house sleeps the love
Whose grandfather was one of
The Germans shot by Americans
And then was saved by them
And taken to hospitals and prison
Camps in Idaho and Arizona and
Came back to a house bombed
To the ground to say, Love them.
Them. Us. There is not much
Difference and certainly not more
Than an ocean that divides us
On earth and this is what the saints
Want us to know as they watch us:
The trenches, smoke, and fire, our
Bombs and flags and bodies here
Are matching more than matches.
Cassie Premo Steele’s latest book is The ReSisters, a novel about intersectional feminists in the #resist movement. Her website is www.cassiepremosteele.com