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Peace Now! Or Anytime in This Lifetime

Peace is always somewhere else—
in Utopia, Shangri-La, the New Jerusalem.
Peace is the walled garden we never
saw where erosion has made a desert.

Peace is always sometime else—
the golden age where our distant
ancestors squatted eating dates
and roots together in primal bliss;

or the future ever more distant
when robots do all the work
and we zip about in clean air
over clean cities eating manna.

Peace is up above the clouds
among plump cherubs and skinny
angels.  Peace is within: Om.
Peace is what politicians sell.

I have never lived when there
was not a war.  So long as profits
swell with heaps of bodies,
so long as rulers conflate penises

with power, so long as war
is confused with a hockey game,
peace will lie in pieces, small
moments, an occasional blue day.

Marge Piercy is the author of Pesach for the Rest of Us: Making the Passover Seder Your Own (Schocken, 2007). Her most recent novel is Sex Wars: A Novel of the Turbulent Post-Civil War Period (New York: William Morrow, 2005), and her newest book of poetry is The Crooked Inheritance (Knopf, 2006).

2008, Volume 59, Issue 10 (March)
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