POETRY: East of New York

East of New York
For Tamim Ansary

Fifty thousand crickets are talking to the moon.
Im here too, doing the translation:
Moon they say, straight to its face
You outflank all Afghanistan this evening,

Grinding the Panjshir Valley underfoot
Without a comment, gaining weight
But granting nothing
Even to these soldiers laid out in the road.

Who can turn the stars so pale
Or flash a more complacent smile?
Only the two-legged ones match your cool indifference.
Staring up at you they seeҗ a face.

Fighting in the mountains, fighting in the valleys
The columns of the missing keep on growing
While you, enormous eye
Go about your business without blinking,

Gaining size as they increase in number,
Crossing the elliptic as if it were a side street,
Blotting Venus, magnifying Mars
Accompanied by clouds and by our outcry.

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