From a distance

This is a rough, first draft . . .

God knows how many times
I have stood frozen in the hot street
with rifles pointing at my crotch

& watched myself – small
& impossibly thin – in the oil-black
mirrors of their sunglasses.

They never take them off, not even
to enter a mosque. God knows
they are easy to hate.

But after the explosion when
I ran with the others to look, suddenly
I felt shame for all the things

I had thought. One howled, the other
bled in silence, eyes naked
to the sun. I bent down.

Above the smooth cheeks
such a clear, pale blue! I felt as if
I were looking down from heaven:

Here is our sky, soldier,
here is yours. Hold on.
Help will come.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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