Two Poems

Wayne Miller

GenerationalOpen the bays      and we fall togetheras in archival footagefrom last generation’s warwe shift     inside our tumblingthe air hitting useach     a little differentlythere’s comfort in thiscollectivity     we’ll landtogether     more or lessour impacts     giving offtiny globes of lightbecoming     one lightsoundless     to the pilotsthe bombardierswherever they’ve goneThe HumanistWhen he rose before the jury of his peershe knew he had arrived at the endgameof his belief, mirror against mirror,and when they read to him his crimes—his betrayal of the time’sconsensus—he saw he would be folded into the bodyof the human story. He would bejudged and found guiltyof elevating men to this very position of judgment.The loneliest person on earthis a humanist condemned. When the pyrewas lit, it bloated the squarewith light—the light his body fed.(Later the guards cleaned up in darkness.We have no record of what they said.)

Feature Date

Series

Selected By

Share This Poem

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Print This Poem

Share on print

Wayne Miller’s fourth poetry collection, Post- (Milkweed, 2016), won the Rilke Prize and the Colorado Book Award. He teaches at the University of Colorado Denver and edits Copper Nickel.

32 Poems

Fall/Winter 2017

Washington, Pennsylvania

Washington & Jefferson College

Editor: George David Clark
Managing Editor: Elisabeth Clark

Printed twice a year (in July and December) and distributed internationally with subscribers in over twenty countries, each issue includes 32 shorter poems. This minimalist focus has fostered an intimate and intensive reading experience since 2002, when Deborah Ager and John Poch founded the journal as an alternative to larger and less-selective literary magazines.

In its fifteen years, 32 Poems has showcased many of the most-recognized poets writing in English, including Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and MacArthur Genius Grant winners, Poets Laureate, and recipients of the other major honors in American letters.

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.