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Baghdad Iraq: The Armorer by Paul David Adkins

A new lieutenant burst

into the arms room,

didn’t even greet the armorer,


and blew up—

Why are these weapons missing?

He shot his finger at a list.


I have to account for these!

You

are to blame!


As he exploded

he seemed to the armorer

to evaporate

to a clacking set of teeth,

a yapping dog.


The armorer nodded, rocked—


Yes, sir. Yes, sir.


The officer finally huffed,

you will go to jail!


The armorer raised a finger,

leaned to slide the desk drawer,

rummaged to produce

a grenade.


He set it on his desk—

a green apple,

the ring of its pin dangling

like a silver leaf.


Paul David Adkins lives in NY. In 2018, Lit Riot published his collection, Dispatches from the FOB. Journal publications include Pleiades, River Styx, Rattle, Diode, Baltimore Review, Crab Creek, and Whiskey Island. He has received five Pushcart nominations and two finalist nominations from the Central NY Book Awards.

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