Other Poems by:

Vanessa Kittle

The Lust of the Innocent

Like a girl whose
village was destroyed
by war
brown sky
dust in her hair.
She gets water only
in mud puddles.
She marches on
dusty roads
with rifles pointing
at her head.
She lives in old
army tents that always
will hold the stink of CS gas.
Then after many years
she returns to her green
village with green trees
a blue river running
through green fields
of flowers.
How can it still be there?
That blue sky?
That is how much I want you.

Empty Guff

A soft blue
speckled egg
falls onto sharp stones,
cracks dully,
pierced at the bottom,
while the rest
remains intact.
And there is no yolk
to dribble out.

Calling Down Lightning

I hurry home
through the dark
of the big city.
It’s freezing
and I have forgotten
my gloves again.
I feel like I am
being followed,
so I hurry
around a corner,
hoping to find
a street filled
with holiday shoppers.
But instead, 
there are dull slaps,
like slabs of steak
being thrown 
on a cutting board.
Then I see them:
a centurion and two drunks.
They are beating
a slender young man.
Well… I think it’s a man.
He is still trying
to protect his face
as he lies in the street,
but their work boots
find flesh.
Snot and blood gurgle
in high-pitched sobs.
For an instant,
I notice an emblem of a sun
on his bag, with 8 rays.
Then the three are running
as if a host of warriors
with swords were upon them.
It happened that fast.
Before I had time to think.
Or perhaps it happened
before it happened.
And I realize if I had thought
about being a host of warriors,
the man would now be dead,
and I would have remained
my ordinary self.

Centurion’s Song

Alone, I am as human
as you; with desires,
feelings, even love.
But together my brothers
and I have the patience of sand.
We are paid in salt.
Our forced marches
would kill the weak.
But our dream
keeps us planting
one foot in front of the next:
the day fifteen years from now
when we will become 
full citizens of the empire.
Our testudo marches 
slowly forward –
shields up, spears out.
You break against our armor.
Our metal wheels roll,
until you are so much dust
settling on highly polished boots.
**Copyright 2007 Vanessa Kittle, all rights reserved
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