Barbara Novack

The New Cold War

They talk of a new cold war 
but bullets are hot 
when they leave the barrel
blood is hot
when it leaves the body 
tears are hot 
when they leave the eyes;
the only thing cold
is the body
when it’s dead.

Colder still is the stone heart 
of the person who 
sacrifices being
for borders
for the illusion 
of power
when the people are in the streets 
cold calculation 
with defiant heat.



Barbara Novack, Writer-in-Residence and member of the English Department at Molloy University, founded and hosts Poetry Events there and, off-campus, presents highly regarded creative writing workshops. Recent books: (poetry) Something Like Life, Do Houses Dream?,A Certain Slant of Light, Dancing on the Rim of Light; (novel) J.W. Valentine. Of her latest poetry collection Heart Like Leaves (2022), poems of love, loss and consolation, Regina Gorney said, “Out of grief comes beauty.”