local_library Guard Tower Overlooking Ameriyah, Baghdad

by Paul David Adkins

Published in Issue No. 197 ~ October, 2013

One hundred twenty steps, twelve flights

to enter a stifling room

containing radio, machine gun, table, two chairs.


The Soldiers sat for hours,

for weeks. The city beneath them

indifferent with lovers,

vandals, broken glass.


Finally they figured

Who cares,


shucked body armor, pants.


One in the chair,

one on the floor. One on the floor,

one in the chair.


They turned up the radio

inside their swaying cell,


its door firmly locked,

guns in hand.

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Paul David Adkins grew up in South Florida and lives in New York.