Valentine’s Day, 1945

Michael Cooper

            blockbusters took the air
                        night mother blue

                                                            grew incendiary havoc: her
                                                                                 legs don’t shake

they jettison the stump of her body to walk
                        awhile in the jargon of air traffic

            controllers—hoove [strafing or not]
prints across the cement yawn of my cairn. Rubbled—I smile

                                                at the somnambulance as it roars by
                                 with its eye splitting wine O Harpy—red blue

            howl leaps thru the intersection against the slotted
traffic light without looking—Black Out the mother stares

                        at the ribbed carriage abandoned by infant            [where

do you expect us to go when the bombs fall?]
                                                                                    life—I grin

                                    crank her air-raid siren—I searchlight
                                                healed by her falling torch song.

Michael Cooper is an Inland Empire poet, PoetrIE member, CSUSB MFA student, veteran, and father of two great sons, Markus and Jonathan. You can find his work in the Berkeley Review, the Portland Review, The Los Angeles Review, and H_NGM_N, among other fine publications. His book, coauthored with good friend Cindy Rinne, Speaking Through Sediment, is now available from ELJ Publications. Michael would like to make you aware that the splash zone includes the first eleven rows.