Roman Poem Number Thirteen

By June Jordan

Only our hearts will argue hard
against the small lights letting in the news
and who can choose between the worst possibility
and the last
between the winners of the wars against the breathing
and the last
war everyone will lose
and who can choose between the dry gas
domination of the future
and the past
between the consequences of the killers
and the past
of all the killing? There
is no choice in these.
Your voice
breaks very close to me my love.

June Jordan, “Roman Poem Number Thirteen” from The Essential June JordanCopyright © 2021 by June Jordan. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press. See