Months ago, the bombs arrived in formation, hovering like blimps. At first, we thought they were participating in a military exercise, that they would be leaving soon, but they remained in place, silent except for a barely audible buzzing that disrupted our cellphone signals and our cable reception. “You’re blocking our sun,” we shouted at the bombs. “Our gardens are dying,” but there was no response. We threw rocks at the bombs to get them to move, but the rocks bounced off them. We launched balloons with messages on them to no avail. We held up signs in protest and shot video footage to send to public TV. Nothing worked. The hard rain ricocheted off their surfaces. The wind didn’t faze them. And snow that landed on the bombs melted. The bombs cast their shadows over us. Our town fell into despair, shops closing early and some not opening again, buildings boarded up. Stoplights went dead, and we stopped driving our cars, because of all the crashes. Still, there were some who liked the bombs and thought they protected us from enemy attacks, while others built new businesses for a new age of living with bombs. Undiscouraged, geese flew over the bombs, and hawks used them as vantage points to spot their prey.
Jeff Friedman’s seventh book Floating Tales—a collection of prose poems—was recently published by Plume Editions/MadHat Press. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, New England Review, The Antioch Review, Poetry International, and many other venues. Dzvinia Orlowsky’s and Friedman’s translation of Memorials by Polish Poet Mieczslaw Jastrun was published by Lavender Ink/Dialogos in August 2014. Nati Zohar and Friedman’s book of translations Two Gardens: Modern Hebrew Poems of the Bible, was published by Singing Bone Press in 2016. Friedman has received awards and prizes including a National Endowment Literature Translation Fellowship in 2016 and Artist Grants from New Hampshire Arts Council.