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Bodies of War: Wash

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I am standing in my dark garage,

Unloading a washing machine, facing a concrete wall, and

I am pulling the clothing out, out of the washing machine,

A shirt by the left arm, a pair of pants by one leg,

Or a sweater by the collar where a neck will go,

And the clothing is still wet, and heavier, now, than when it went in,

Because I am thinking about the Twin Towers and after they fell down,

How even though the bodies were missing, they were still there,

Underneath the rubble, bones between building material, arms

And legs, a head and a torso, necks and names, or even a foot,

With the toes intact, all of it, pinned between asbestos and metal,

A collarbone and a computer keyboard, or a hip bone next

To a hand, severed at the wrist, exposed bulb of blood and

Tendons and muscle, and the radius bone still attached to it,

Like a stem, and it is dark, here, in my garage, night, in my bed,

Where my husband sleeps, this man, who went to war,

And came back whole, his spine, that horizontal horizon,

I will watch tonight, as I lie awake, thinking about the Twin Towers,

And about the war, or how it is morning, now, in Afghanistan,

A country where bombs explode and the dead bodies

Pile up on the side of a road.

Copyright Amalie Flynn 1994-Present

Amalie Flynn is an American writer. She publishes her poems on her blog, Wife and War, based on her experience as a military wife, whose husband was deployed to war.

To read more of Amalie Flynn's story, go to Wife and War and September Eleventh. Follow her on Twitter and find her on Facebook. You can email her at amalieflynn@aol.com