beat 50

Mother, I have come home from the war
temporarily. Accepting my losses like a good soldier,
picking the scabs from my wounds.

In the field among smoke I murdered
many men for you. The first to go was your
father. I put rose petals in his mouth to cover
the stench of whiskey, then bound his hands with
our tears and poverty.

I cut off the blood circulation to his manhood,
and watched it turn as black as your childhood.
Then I laughed and smoked a cigarette, told God
I could never be like Jesus.

When I go back, I shall have Shakespeare and
Rossetti by my side. They are ancient heroes
and trust no one.

~Heather Lenz

this poem first appeared in Dance to Death and Carcinogenic Poetry

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