Daneen Wardrop: The Art of War

Early morning claymation of birds clogging the backyard,
low gargle of mourning dove–

Trees are vaults to fit into an easy second, they pass us in swells of untightening.

Touch for us, wandering for them: an eye unclutches.

Inside the vacant TV screen an arm raises against–

How it turns into a rip before it can turn back into itself.

And the slender thing raging in the unused room.

There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

Alongside a sandy highway, perishability thinks.
When it acts it leaves its mind behind.

Birds sing in intervals with each other. My mother may step out of the shower an egret.

 

Note: Title and italicized parts taken from The Art of War, Sun Tzu, 500 B.C., translated by Lionel Giles.



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