Watch trailer 01:00
Share

You and I Are Disappearing

Yusef Komunyakaa, Senator John Kerry, director Julie Taymor, composer Elliot Goldenthal, and Vietnam War veterans discuss the awful mix of beauty and horror in war.

Interested in learning more? Poetry in America offers a wide range of courses, all dedicated to bringing poetry into classrooms and living rooms around the world.

Purchase Episode

Select a digital media store to download episodes or to pre-order the full season.

iTunes Amazon

Watch on your Local Station

Use the schedule tool below to find out when Poetry in America airs on your local station. If no results appear, stream or download the episode above.

Read the Poem

You and I Are Disappearing

by Yusef Komunyakaa

“You and I Are Disappearing”
                       –Björn Håkansson

The cry I bring down from the hills
belongs to a girl still burning
inside my head. At daybreak
       she burns like a piece of paper.
She burns like foxfire
in a thigh-shaped valley.
A skirt of flames
dances around her
at dusk.
          We stand with our hands
hanging at our sides,
while she burns
          like a sack of dry ice.
She burns like oil on water.
She burns like a cattail torch
dipped in gasoline.
She glows like the fat tip
of a banker’s cigar,
       silent as quicksilver.
A tiger under a rainbow
  at nightfall.
She burns like a shot glass of vodka.
She burns like a field of poppies
at the edge of a rain forest.
She rises like dragonsmoke
  to my nostrils.
She burns like a burning bush
driven by a godawful wind.

+ Show More

“You and I Are Disappearing”
                       –Björn Håkansson

The cry I bring down from the hills
belongs to a girl still burning
inside my head. At daybreak
       she burns like a piece of paper.
She burns like foxfire
in a thigh-shaped valley.
A skirt of flames
dances around her
at dusk.
          We stand with our hands
hanging at our sides,
while she burns
          like a sack of dry ice.
She burns like oil on water.
She burns like a cattail torch
dipped in gasoline.
She glows like the fat tip
of a banker’s cigar,
       silent as quicksilver.
A tiger under a rainbow
  at nightfall.
She burns like a shot glass of vodka.
She burns like a field of poppies
at the edge of a rain forest.
She rises like dragonsmoke
  to my nostrils.
She burns like a burning bush
driven by a godawful wind.

- Show Less