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Christopher James, from Farewell to the Earth

A Star Shell

In a moment the world is shattered,
sub-divided into fractions of itself.
We freeze in its mathematics.
The trench floods with rivers of light;
mud quickens into life and the barricades
become the linked arms of children.

All of the universe turns on this point,
a precursor of the final reckoning,
the second before the sun implodes;
a flash of beautiful clarity when God
presents himself, shining on the wasteland,
a tender eye over his razed creation.

It is not the moment after I remember
but the fabric of our tunics, the accent
of light on our helmets, the spots of rust
of our belt brass and the olive green of the
subaltern's eyes; the star drifts peaceably
to the earth and in an instant — gunfire.