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  • Gary Hunter

The Fires of Bakhmut - June 19, 2023


blackened fields around the city

widen the night and something

flickers in the smokeless dark


twelve months of explosions

rocket glare rip saw mortars

and machine gun stutter make voices

that moved back and forth in shadows

hide from the bloody paths

they became by day


a city cracked and crumbling

buildings of exposed honeycomb

are silent and drained now

all bodies that didn’t leave

on their own became ash or

were dragged away and buried


so what still burns there?

not concrete or charred ruins

or bones nor stove

or warming fires

or candles of hope


I saw it on the evening news

something still glows at night

in Bakhmut

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