Been sitting here for hours trying to choose the right poem. First I chose a classic one by Wilfred Owens, in WWI, but it was unbearable. Then I chose a lesser-known one by Archibald MacLeish, mid-20th century, but that one was also unbearable. Now I’ve been reading through Brian Turner’s Iraq war poems, and they too are unbearable. Because war is unbearable. So here we are.
– Brian Turner
If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.
–For more information on Brian Turner, please click here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/240650
Wow. Searing. Pain.