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?

Former forklift driver/warehouse worker/janitor, Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet; BAR's Poet-in-Residence; and founder/co-leader of the jazz-poetry ensemble UpSurge!NYC. Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.