One-legged men stay silent, thousands of them, blasted by land mines from the Angolan civil war, twenty years of strife.
Oscar Pistorius, Olympic legend, “the Blade Runner” on prosthetic carbon-fiber blades that, when racing, make him look like an alien, stands when ordered by the South African judge. Accused of murdering his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, he buries his face in his hands and weeps. But otherwise he is silent, like those who’ve had a leg or two blown off by land mines from the Angolan civil war.
I lie in bed in the dark, blinds closed, the image of Pistorius a ghost under my eyelids. The blue light on my humidifier provides the barest illumination. My wife is watching yet another rerun of Law and Order. I hear the mumbling through the solid wooden door, the same characters running through the formula—murder, heinous sex crimes, detection, punishment—so in my mind I give her a demerit. And I give her another for being slow to come to bed, because I am a sensual being and want to press my face between her silicone-enhanced breasts.
On my back, my hands at my sides on top of the red satin coverlet, a missile explodes from my chest, but doesn’t damage me. I watch it jet through the roof into the star-lit sky.
My ragged romantic heart, on silver wings, wends its way to Afghanistan where, without warning, it drops down and incinerates an Al Qaeda warlord, who controls a million dollars in heroin poppies and a jihadist arsenal. In the fields, the orange poppies dance gracefully. They think his death liberates them, but no, they are still destined to flow through American veins, giving fleeting pleasure on their way to bringing lasting death.
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over nine hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net for work published in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. He lives in Denver.