Irony

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Irony
by Thomas Lux

A handgrenade – thunk – lands in a bunker.
Two brave men dive
to smother it with their helmets and bellies,
their heads collide,
both are knocked out
and seconds later die

in the unmuffled blast: hard irony, a device
we turn to
when each door, hatch, gate, path
we turn to
opens to
the blank. And it can make us laugh,

which is good,
human. And it says one thing
when it means another,
which we love: it's safe there, one foot
on each side
of a crevasse, one can be both numb

and acute, brave
and fearful, at ease
in a mink-lined noose: we love
this tool
and the comfort, the justice, it provides,
it provides.