Just let them go on.
I haven't the voice
to carry over their chattering
about the color of the wall paper.
(They know nothing of walls and barred windows.)
They sit in their rows waiting for the reader.
They'll glorify him with his swirls of gray hair,
lip of pronunciations, one eyebrow lowering at will.
He has been here before.  Peddling his books
with thick bindings and a few polished pages.
Yes, I'm jealous...
If I didn't have these scars, I could be up there,
center stage, mesmerizing their little hearts,
demonstrating how many lashes it takes
to make a man
slump to his knees, face in the dirt, unconscious,
spittle oozing like a shot dog.
But the horror would make them pee in their panties.
Perhaps it's better they never know
how their grandsons will end...
How the world is spinning into a fiend.  Fire for hair,
silver bullets for teeth, endless for the taste of death.
I return home.
Shut myself in my room.
Taking a shower with my clothes on.
Taking a shower with my bloody boots.

Stephen Williams' poetry has recently appeared in AvocetFissureNerve CowboyTales From The Moonlit Path, Sacred Journey, and others.
I have poems accepted and soon to be published in  Aoife's KissThe Broome Review, POEM, REAL, and others.

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