My Family Was Organized Around War by H.E. Fisher

   My father’s shame for never having fought.
          Three draft-age brothers in lottery.
I sat on pale blue and green linoleum with thin gold
   glittered stripes forming enemy lines. I made toys speak,
          they spoke back— the world I believed.

I once read that Czeslaw Milosz watched silent
   films in Vilnius. Little truths pantomimed in Mary
Pickford’s eyes. Buster Keaton’s pratfallen body,
       the face of a house collapsing around him.
Did you know he did his own stunts?
          Most of the celluloid was destroyed.

Milosz wrote about the people in a town, how No pain
   can be experienced by the body spared them.
Executioners and victims; crimes that over
     time became vague,
misremembered, missing—
                                                      history like an address
          without a street number. All my stories
were conflicts. Play without battledress
     was nothing. Silence crucial to every plot,
every casualty.

H.E. Fisher is the author of the collection STERILE FIELD (Free Lines Press, 2022). Her chapbook, JANE ALMOST ALWAYS SMILES, is forthcoming from Moonstone Press (9/22). H.E.’s work has recently appeared in Whale Road Review, Indianapolis Review, Miracle Monocle, Longleaf Review, and Anti-Heroin Chic, among other publications. H.E. was awarded the 2019 Stark Poetry Prize in Memory of Raymond Patterson at City College of NY, was a finalist in the 2020-21 Comstock Review Chapbook Contest, and has been nominated for BOTN. H.E. is the editor of (Re) An Ideas Journal.