Mica Ray

 

 

(USA)

 

 

 

Baby Boomer

 

After another day at war,

he crossed the International dateline.

All he wanted was a smile he could pretend to own,

even for just this night.

 

His mother used to lock him in a dark closet.

It was the least she could do after burnt toast for breakfast.

She was protecting his ears from the sounds of fighting.

If only she’d been there to protect them from other explosions.

 

Instead, there was just three of them.

Some kid from North Carolina and a guy from Mississippi must have felt bad for him.

They fired 35 to 40 rounds of pink tracers into the sky…

and that was his Christmas.

 

 

 

Finally Legal

 

Eighteen and ready for anything,

I punched that cop who had it comin’.

I fought the law and the law won.

The Pittsburg Pirates won’t want me now.

 

Lying awake in another land,

Truly surprised to be breathing at all.

« Charlie » and « gook » were part of my language now.

It’s time to go see Michael.

 

He’ll be impressed that I stole a jeep to see him.

Damn near got caught and my ass handed to me for it.

I know we’ll laugh about it over beers tonight.

I’d tell my 91st airborne boys we nabbed them too.

 

There’s another man at base; a boy really.

We were all boys with men’s jobs.

« Where the hell is he? » I asked.

I had stolen that jeep one week too late.

 

As my eyes welled and my lip stiffened,

I waited to ask.

I knew there was only one question left I had for the boy.

« How did he go? »

 

I was reminded of my last friend who didn’t make it;

who had suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach.

There was nothing worse.

It took hours.

 

« Gunshot to the head », the kid said.

A soldier’s dream, really.

None of us ever really expected to go home.

Except in a body bag.

 

 

 

It Wasn’t Me

 

Don’t ask me about the war.  I don’t remember.

Don’t ask me about the war.  I wasn’t paying attention.

Don’t say words that remind me of where I’ve been.  I don’t want to hear what’s behind me.

Don’t tell me you understand.  Don’t tell me that you’re sorry.

Your young words of peace are new and shiny to you but they don’t have the same ring to them for me that they used to.

Don’t tell me every war is different.  Don’t tell me every war is wasteful.

If you ask me about the war, I will stare at you in silence; though quiet is not what I’m listening to in my mind.  If I could control it, I’d change the channel in my head.

Don’t ask me what my eyes have seen.  Don’t ask me what war smells like.

Don’t tell me I will be forgiven.  I wouldn’t know who was taking pity on me.

I do not know and I do not want to know.

It is as if another man’s hands have done these things.

 

 

 

Assigned At Birth

 

Carving minds without hearts:

It’s a birthright, a failsafe plan

Shiny, plastic cheeks on a hunger stamped face

fingers laced incorrectly as she prays

 

Bulbous, white hands,

her creator reaching into her mouth,

a cave of deception,

now fat with symbolism

 

Assumed prophet, marshmallow hat

lays his wisdom eggs on her slender tongue

Hurry!  Hurry!  Choke them down!

Quick and stealthily before they hatch and run amok!

 

You can almost see her teeth,

yellowed by sneaked candy and protected by cherry lips;

snapping down like a bear trap,

encompassing lies to come.

 

A stated case;

flimsy like an unconfident whore

or …

an act of god that just won’t quit.

 

She lies,

not having any idea of the beauty

she could offer their souls

if she only guessed they had them.

 

If everyone had simply refrained from filling her veins with sludge

Like glass, the pieces get stuck in her skin

Scars will become her

She will wear them with pride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mica Ray is a poet, actress and dancer from Los Angeles.  She received her degrees in Dance and Theatre from Loyola Marymount University and has studied at NYU and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.  Some other loves include food and travel.

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