Call It Duty

Call It Duty

sh’-sh’-sh’ shoot me
call it duty
put that phallic/ metallic/ weaponry
to my head
reboot me

this feels unreal, stage-managed
for the flat screen
patrols scrolling through the same scenes
ketchup reds, Technicolor greens
overshot, the tired fatigues
props from a Hollywood lot

we’re here to keep the peace
but you can’t keep
what you’ve never seen
enemies in trees
the only peace they want
is a piece of me
when did I last sleep?
sleep is for the weak
must be weeks
break the programming

every step a command
urged on by unseen hands
strange how the word pacifist
terminates in fist
untwist that taloned hate
straighten as a flower
aim toward the sun
depetal your digits
one by one
let go the gun

did I sign up for this?
some dumb kid
swayed by snake-oil recruiters
and a flashy vid
a small town where no one
amounts to spit
go see the world
and shoot at it
deemed fit and able
by a cabal of grey men
massed around a table
who wouldn’t put
their own sons forward
to get ordered

fighting a country
of which I know nothing
for a country
I no longer believe in
one that would rather
change the channel
than deal with the grieving
when everything you love
is everything you hate
everything you love is hate

free of control- consoled
I stroll down
bombed-out streets
in civilian gear
finger hovering on a trigger
somewhere near
you think you can just play with life?
a dozen shootings before breakfast time
wipe the redcurrant jam from the knife?
step outside, throw the curtains wide

Virginia Tech
where next?
not in my name

it’s just a game

just a game

©Copyright 2017 Ash Dickinson