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Perhaps the hanging gardens never did
exist. But "Babylon" can conjure still
an image of a high green weeping grid.

But now we hear the sirens' warning shrill
like some great mythic screeching bird, unseen
but for her shadow falling dark until

at last we see the night itself in green
through lenses that we use to trace the arc
of lines of fire across our TV screen.

We sit and listen to the sounds of stark
staccato bursts, fierce fusillades we know
as perforations of the silent dark.

How tall the reeds along the river grow
where one small white bird fell not long ago.

2004 Miriam N. Kotzin
"Euphrates" was published in Front Street Review, Spring 2004

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