Washer Machine Gun
by Anthony Liccione

The twelve lay on the fearful
streets of Fallujah,
where the bullets gave
no proper arrangement,
lining them up like balloons
pinned to a wall at a carnival-
and fired fun with a bb gun.
Contractors they call themselves,
however spies is their accusation.

Is this what it took
to drive truck, hauling precious
time to collect a hefty paycheck-
and to know you're going to die
right there and then with a blue
sky above, a chrome stained sun,
with cars slowing down to watch
death take place openly-
people stopping, hiding, cheering
running their mouths.
And what do you do at this time-
pray to your god or curse your
decision of being there, cry for
your children, hope they are bluffing
seeking ransom, wish a savior or hero
will come out the sewers as you hear
the echoes of rapid gunfire ricochet
off buildings and houses close by
with flowers in backyards and
the twelve implanted one-by-one
limp forward as comatose,
an execution domino.
Blood-soaked curbside soon
to exhibit the role of war,
the faces of parents, wives
and children on the five o'clock
news weeping.

When the firing ends, what's at hand
is a heap of dirty laundry, and bees
that swarm away to their hives-
whites that need bleaching
and rights that wash away to the sewers.

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