Baby Barracks

based on art by Renot Lopes

These are easy times
for infidels
for nothing is so simple
as a faithless follower,
setting standards by stripes
and worth by stars
and loyalties by borderlines and
shades of skin.
When I cock my gun
do you hear angels?
When I turn the pages of a loaded magazine
are you reborn?
Into the hymns and headlines of popular culture
boasting our best lines
and freshest gun powder.

It explodes into melodies
like the cry of the infantry
placed in play pens,
penning place markers on foreign walls,
pinching pictures of husbandswivesgirlfriendsboyfriends
between loyal thumbs.

They form lines like playground roll call
where first is worst
second is best
and third is the one
with the bullet in his chest.
And no cutsies,
you'll get yours too
when they take your motherfatherbrothersistercousinfriend
your faith will find you then.

-Kimberly Walleston

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