“Bad Intelligence”

A Poem by Corey Van Landingham

February 4, 2022  By Corey Van Landingham

Pixelated, on a clear day, a shovel may resemble
a rifle. A woman is always a civilian, by definition,

and data. And data (416-957 civilians
in Pakistan) will not be updated. The ability

to loiter for longer along the largely erased
border will further, we are certain,

American interests. We named a drone Hermes,
after Herma, Greek for: prop, heap of stones, boundary

marker. O mighty messenger of the gods (—Aeschylus),
bringer of good luck, guide and guardian (—Homer),

thief at the gates, watcher by night (—anon.),
give us the full leaked report without seeking

permission for entry. Hermes, you who protect
trade and travelers. God of transition, and poets.



From Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens by Corey Van Landingham. Used with the permission of Tupelo Press.

Corey Van Landingham
Corey Van Landingham
Corey Van Landingham is the author of Antidote, winner of the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, she teaches in the MFA program at the University of Illinois.

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