08.01 (Sorry, I’m late)


set the guns you call arms down
swallow the powder on the top of your tongue
stop stepping to the rhythm of war drums
the great turrets in your chest are raised
lower them as well
there’s no reason to continue this show
this parade this decadent destruction
it’s all fun and games
until someone gets hurt

there’s burning buildings in your eyes
tear gas comes pouring from your ears
deep in your throat there are trenches
where some soldiers may never get out
they just drown in the muck of the things
you should say but never do
because your stubborn ankles
are held to the ground
by the anchors of warship

your eyebrows sink down like missiles
your finger tips just march on and on
you ball up your fist
like the congregation of troops
your voice box a megaphone
commanding the whales out of the water

when your body is a war
sleep is a luxury you can’t afford
but i say this to you now
from a dream where you could be
you can sleep when you’re dead
but trust me when i tell you
it hurts to dream of what could have been


This poem is part of a project I’m doing for the month of August called “08.2015” where I write 31 poems over the course of 31 days. To learn more, click here.

Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

2 thoughts on “ATROPHY”

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