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The boy climbs the tree that will be his ruin, and the ruin of his generation. The 
view from the top too dazzling to see. The air too bright to breathe. And the box 
inside him in which his mother resides is velvet and black and without size. And 
the nation waits in a shadow. And a baby about to be born is weighted down 
instead with a stone:

The tree, the boy, the celebrity divorce. The palace with all that blood spilled all 
over that marble floor: At the library again today, as at the car dealership and the 
grocery store, no one says a word about the war. 

—Laura Kasischke

“Peace” by Laura Kasischke from Space, in Chains.

Copper Canyon Press, 2011.

By permission of the author.

Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke (1961- ) was born in Michigan and educated at the University of Michigan. She is the author of eight collections of poetry and eight novels, and her honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award for the poetry collection Space in Chains (2011) as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is the Allan Seager Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. Photo Credit: Patrice Normand/Opale.

Learn more about Laura Kasischke at The Poetry Foundation.