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Friday, June 21, 2013

The inches between, illustrated by Allan Peterson


When we joked as kids about improbable fates
we chose meteor strikes. This was before the Web.
Our sense of distance suited analog date stamps.
We clicked our tongues each day for the hostages kept
four hundred. Americans had someone to hate.

This morning, maybe the jogger’s curvy rear end
shook the workaday rhythm of the crossing guard,
and timing failed. I jumped on the brake. Momentum
spun my briefcase to the floor—but another car
arrowed through, interlocking like a gear’s tooth straight

into the gap between clockwork tick and murder.
And today in Iran, Nigeria, Boston,
and yesterday in Somalia, Syria…
Meteors really did fall on Russia. Newtown…
What was I saying?
Let me check the Internet.

It’s dizzying to fall wide open and listen
and human to forget that we’re falling humans.


By Allan Peterson

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