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POETRY I BY KELLE GROOM FALLUJAH I mispronounce it like Tallulah Bankhead named for her grandmother named for the falls, mispronounce it like anarchy, the word for division for the invisible branch of the great river that disappeared here, a woman whose life was a lake she filled until it emptied, the men in the mosque crying for the people in Fallujah, eyes dark because it will be a massacre tonight we sit in quiet places, fifty million people who said no & no wasn’t enough, remember the girl who blocked a gun & was run over by a tank, the girl who climbed a tree to save it, a woman who gave her body up to knives so her husband would walk again, what can we do that isn’t selfdestruction? Brother, I know you know. HEY, HEY I said to the girl, two or three years old, passing by my door, & I was down, down, the grave danger, black laden with ice that little passes through, but if the only thing I do in a day is shine at a child, I’ll choose it over the sin of being so much static, a vertical flow of airso overcast I reduce the risk of both our landings and takeoffs, so while she is still in my sphere, the doppler crashing, I smile across the shear boredom, the downdraft, bring the heat of my person to shine on her, born over ground, say “Hey, Hey” to her with all delight lifting up, and as my key turns in the lock, and I step into my closet, I hear her say, “Hey, Hey” in my intonation, as if I have taught her the words to a song. Kelle Groom KELLE GROOM’S poems have appeared in AGNI, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, The New Yorker, Poet Lore, Witness and other journals. Her collections of poetry are Underwater City and Luckily, forthcoming from Anhinga Press.Naomi. Shihab Nye. MARCH 4, 2005 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21