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Feb 2013
***** hands, gun-powder face
Pressed against holy robes,
Begging final forgiveness.

The father holds his son,
The grown boy
Clothed in military brown.

Steady, mourning lips whisper a prayer
Into the ******, sweat-soaked hair.

His life leaking away in the darkness of the stain spreading across his chest,
The soldier sobs.
Because his eyes have been dry
As his brothers have fallen around
And before him
As cities have erupted in boiling flames
As he has been torn from the inside out by the sounds of human suffering
As children have died in his arms
As mothers have cursed his name
As the world has grown black and charred beneath his feet.

He weeps,
Shaking in the arms of God's servant,
The sins of his work
The guilt of his rifle
Burning in his chest
Hotter than the biting bullet.

The words of the priest
Are drowned
By the malicious hum of aircraft overhead.

An angel of death
Finds them kneeling on the cobblestones,
The holy man and the soldier,
Folds them into its inescapable and
Unbiased jaws
And turns them the color of
Fire and gunpowder.
Jillyan Adams
Written by
Jillyan Adams
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