Piece Process

Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze:
it’s a joy-stick; a video game to him…
He has orders to “light up” anything that moves;
“Mow the grass, one blade at a time…” “One shot,
one kill…”
So far, he’s bagged a man on crutches, 3 disabled, 2 children

Azriel stalks victims in the valley of death; studies
them through his scope; taking careful aim; punching
tight little holes in heads and torsos—distant targets—
They’re sudden spray, pink haze floating above spots
where they stood. No regret. No sorrow for families…

A plume of black smoke from flaming tires curls
into his crosshairs, his snake eyes nesting in sand—
a nano second too late—
Another child’s head ‘clashes’
with a butterfly bullet from a
football field away—
Crimson skull fragments
explode from the grapefruit-sized exit wound;
Spent cartridges, his ‘kill brass,’ pile up in the
Ah, the rules of engagement
What’s bone, arteries—another amputated leg—
got to do with it/the piece process: shoot one man,
Terrify a thousand? Don’t ‘our’ finest train there?

Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet privileged to have read at the Harriet Tubman Centennial Symposium. He is Artistic Director of the stalwart JazzPoetry Ensemble UpSurge and has appeared at numerous festivals and venues including the Monterey Jazz Festival and Panafest in Ghana West Africa. He currently is Poet-in-Residence at Black Agenda Report. Turner has opened for such people as James Baldwin, People’s Advocate Cynthia McKinney, radical sportswriter Dave Zirin and CA Congresswoman Barbara Lee following her lone vote against attacking Afghanistan. He is Co-Chair of the NY Chapter National Writers Union (NWU). Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.