..He learned to decode the vibrant colors and splash of shapes across the screen. The relative speed of a step, denoting anger. Fear in a dropping shift of balance. Love in the tilt of a shoulder.

René Houtrides, "Failight" from Issue 4

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Adam Sol

Adam Sol is the author of three books of poetry, including Jeremiah, Ohio, a novel in poems which was shortlisted for Ontario's Trillium Award for Poetry; and Crowd of Sounds, which won the award in 2004. He teaches at Laurentian University's campus in Barrie, Ontario, and lives in Toronto with his wife and three sons.

 

Engagement

The young man knows he's going to die today, but he's   wrong.
The other young man figures the army is the best way to   improve his life, but he's wrong.
They both think their weapons will protect them, but   they're wrong.
They both believe their prayers will help.

Their commanders have intentions and intelligence, but   they're wrong.
We've heard the story before. It's wrong.
The news will document it, but it will be wrong.
The war on terror, the war on Islam, the clash of   civilizations.

The explosion will exceed the necessity of the occasion.
The exchange of fire will be unbalanced.
The response will be disproportionate.
The reporter is factually incorrect, theoretically   misinformed, morally reprehensible.

The clear typeface and perfect binding are misleading.
The reader is uncomfortably and inappropriately implicated.
The tranquil mind is insufficient to the task.
The young men, necks dirty and damp, advance.