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NEW DAYS / Uz Rosenberg Sunlight, strong as tobacco, that shines so hard it seems to push the door ajar just as you and I leaned into a kiss, reached under clothes to find our skins. Bright earth, forgive this darkness working in me. 32 · The Missouri Review THIS PEACEFUL STREET / Liz Rosenberg On this peaceful street with its busy cars and twilit headlamps, no sign of blood, not even road-kiU. Out on the highway, the deer lie sideways. In markets, the meat sits bloodless in plastic. Our violence is habitual: one man might say, Fight to kill while in hospital basements, the x-rayed fight only to Uve. Across an ocean, young men pace on either side, scan the night sky for missiles or angels. The Missouri Review · 33 CLOUDS / Liz Rosenberg They hung in the sky, the size of houses, wilder than the trees. We lived on our backs, stared up forever past the shadowy twin towers of our knees to watch the shapes go by like carriages without wheels. And sometimes a chink of gold would slowly widen like a door opening—a door! where God and all his angels strolled. We'd be about to see them when our mother's calls would rise and one by one, so would we, called home to supper, home to bed where we would sleep, clouds boiling above our heads. 34 · The Missouri Review THE METHOD / Liz Rosenberg What was Maria Montessori thinking when she crossed the tenement courtyard that first morning— that she could free the children from their chairs, would free the chairs themselves from the floor? That morning, she demonstrated how to blow one's nose, so quietly the children burst into instant applause. She wrote, "The child is Uke the beggar, who looks for something and fails to attain it, who is robbed of his home and civil rights." The press called her crazy, outlandish; of course, ugly. On the next bridge over, the young Mussolini loped like a starved wolf from locked door to locked door. Fascist and anti-fascist sharing the mirror of the Tiber River. "The chairs might be moved and cleaned every day, easily lifted even by a child." One girl, among fruit trees for the first time cried out in amazement, "Up there, is a garden of things to eat!" The Missouri Review · 35 TERROR / Liz Rosenberg When the first blue fireworks explode Uke giant thistles, glassy on the sky my son is playing a few yards off. He freezes when it happens, his whole torso shakes the way I've seen smaU animals burst into motion from a dead stand-stiU as he runs crying, arms out for his father Uke those chUdish figures in the A.P. photos real under real skies who are really dying. 36 · The Missouri Review THE SMALLEST GESTURE / Liz Rosenberg MUUe's daughter is a thin sixteen, sick and tired of waiting for Death to carry her off. Her medicines shine like jewels in the wide kitchen window where she sits patiently, sketching the snow. And MUUe's so busy chattering, vacuuming—rushing around. By four she's exhausted, done in for the day. Fallen into her flowered armchair in the front parlor dim and square as a box, Millie's small hand dangles down— thinking of her daughter and pointing toward the earth. The Missouri Review · 37 INTENSIVE CARE UNIT / Liz Rosenberg Somewhere a TV set is always on, suspended like a gun three feet above our heads. A doctor is summoned on the intercom in a voice calm as a bell, while a young man screams, thumping the wall— an overdose—next door; then quiets, calling hoarsely for his mother. Down the hall, a chUd's machines are shut down at last and an hour later her parents shuffle past our door, listing like wrecked boats, crying dully, with a wracked sound, like a cough. And here is our baby son inside a metal crib. One pinpoint in the center of his chest pumps wildly in and out, a moth's wing whipping the light, frantic for air and here's the only movie in his room, the bright green screen...


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