One sighs heavily down the telephoneAnother pours the assassin’s quicksand
One leaves the garrison lonely as a bulletAnother fills white tubs with kerosene
One is surveyed from the border glassAnother guards against the darkness of trees
One clinks to the enemy’s thimbleAnother fantasizes death in a flyway
One slugs the sitter at his pianoforteAnother takes shade under a fig tree
One discerns bloodiness from the sirenAnother brandishes the manacles
One juggles dust between his handsAnother combusts the basecamp [End Page 34]
James Byrne’s most recent poetry collection is Blood/Sugar (Arc Publications). With ko ko thett he coedited Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets, the first anthology of Burmese poetry to be published in the West. He is the editor of The Wolf, an internationally renowned poetry magazine that he cofounded in 2002, and a recipient of the Treci Trg poetry festival prize in Serbia. He lectures on English literature and creative writing and received a Stein Fellow from New York University, where he completed his mfa. His first collection in the United States is forthcoming.