A Pretty Poem About Signaling and Flowers

“A Pretty Poem About Signaling and Flowers”


Heraclitus and the river of fire is the problem

with the theory of signaling in military strategy.

Look at me when I’m talking to you

about signaling and flowers.


When we row out into the world

toward the shores where we think we are going,

how swiftly the river of light changes!

Light breaks like that, of course.

Everything of value is breakable.


Think of coal. How it breaks in a fire

to make more light from its darkness.

Or in the furnace of a train, the light of speed.

Or in deepest darkness, underground, a diamond.


You were wrong, Elizabeth,

about the utility

of staring out the window.

The light lives there.