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Matt Mason

Letter to the People of Belarus

When I was young,
you were the ones who wanted to kill me.
My government
would pull me aside, motion me
into the hallway and whisper

                  how your government had bombs
      to rattle the earth’s bones
      and manufacture a new kind of black
                       smoke from my churches,
                             grocery stores, video arcades, neighbors, friends, trees, bike.

I do not know what you
were told about me.
I do not know
what was scripted for your nightly news.
But here we are,

face to face,
and neither of us
has broken
into flames; what
a miracle. What

a blessing,
to learn what is true
about truths whispered,
when we were young,
to me and to you.