The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Lara Egger

Weapons of Probable Destruction


One must know a member of the organization
to receive an invitation. Please explain
the rules to me again. Thirteen is an unlucky number
but I don’t know why. There is only one window
in the house from which to observe the blush
of sunrise, and it is disconcerting to realize, given
the magnitude of the event, how many times
I have missed it by looking in the wrong direction.

NPR reports: the President has ordered men with HIV
to rape the women of the families who want to vote against him.
I am looking at a reproduction of a Schiele painting:
the dark-haired man in the red loincloth, one talon
perched across his forehead, the other twisted below his chin.
Emaciated. Most days, I would like to be more angular.
A realtor on HGTV shows a couple the master bedroom.
Someone is sending a message.

Last year I went to Sri Lanka: ten days on the beach
in Tangalle where the air smelled of sea salt and drying fish.
From a distance, the ocean looked Marlboro Country blue.
I used to think ignoring the color of a person’s skin
was the best way to avoid being racist. This, I discovered,
is the same as pretending everyone is white. The difference
between black magic and white magic is associative:
a black cat is a sign of bad luck; a white lie, not as bad.

NPR reports: he is gassing his own people. I don’t know
who my people are; do you? By this, I mean, are there others
I am under less of an obligation to care about?
The residents of Del Rio, Texas, have more in common
with the citizens of Ciudad Acuña but they are separated
by an international border, a line in the sand.
The Dalai Lama advised the monks not to fight back.




LARA EGGER is an Australian native, currently living in Boston where she co-owns a Spanish tapas bar. Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Free State Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Confrontation, Jabberwock Review and elsewhere, and she was the winner of the 2013 Arts & Letters Rumi Prize for Poetry. Egger holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College; she is forever grateful to all her teachers.



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