Free me from wars? Make my debut?
Oh, Mr. Handsome G.I. Joe—
your face and a blanket won’t do.

Sift flour from Mama’s ashes, melt glue
from Papa’s bones. Knead them into dough—
free of wars, rising for my debut.

Am I marble pale and girlish thin enough for you—
brave young generalissimo?
Will my face in your blanket do?

My spent seeds stare from the dew—
oblige me a new womb, my flow—
free of wars, making my debut.

Long years I yearned for this rendezvous,
my Savior, my Private, my American Beau—
your face scratchy, your blanket too.

Beautiful women wait back home for you,
nothing to ask for, nothing to owe—
free of wars, making debuts.
Your blanket, my face—dead, white, and blue.


Susanna is a Fulbright Fellow, Emmy nominee, and receiver of the Kean University Presidential Excellence Award in Distinguished Teaching.  As founding producer and principal performer of Wild Nights Productions, LLC,  she tours ashes, ashes: A Poet Responds to the Holocaust.”  Her poem about the Holocaust memorial in Budapest, “Shoes Along the Danube Promenade,” won the Ekphrasis Poetry Prize. She is author of Surfing for Jesus, Television DaddyThe Drive Home, and The Flexible Writer.  
Featured Image: “Victim of fanaticism” by Nikolay Pimonenko.

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