Meghan O'Rourke reads


You need Flash to listen to this track.

Download (mp3)

Once something must have happened here,
before you were always quoting yourself to sleep,
needing to remember. Gunpowder
boomed in the birch forests,
redcoats flashed like flowers.
The city was narcotic with gold,
derricks stiffened beside wounded ships.
Women wept for the diving bells of dead.
Flames rose along the river, longing—

All that is green must turn to red.
Listen: the dynamite cracks
in the concrete forest.
That echo is the sound of borrowed grace. Believe it,
ask memory to be your burning stake.