In a Revolutionary Moment

Wiping canteen’s condensation
on pants leg, black and yellow shirt
I wear a chilling mask,
sing the Cutthroat Song on parade.
I live in a lean-to formed
by winter shrouds, battle pennants
torn from the desperate defeated.
The desert killings complete,
we turn against ghost car atrocities,
whipping stroke of militia baton.
We take our rifles to the rooftops,
IEDs to the courthouse lawn.
The assassin’s knife edge
protects the political point.

With reinforcements off the bay ferry,
street hunters assemble along the wharf,
testing dogs straining for attack.
Defending the democracy wards,
we keep the strain blaring, blasting
songs for unions, an anarchist anthem.
Kidnap teams corner Royalist bankers,
clerics on commission,
relieve them of wallet, custom shoes and suit,
leave them squalling in the Squatter Zone.
Rejecting half-pay employment,
hospital waiting weeks,
veterans form reprisal cadres,
bomb to trash nationalist bars,
hilltop satellite dishes,.
the King’s crucifix billboards.

Navy-trained, I know
the Mossberg shotgun,
missiles and machine guns
on a Seahawk helicopter.
Until persuading calls from Quebec,
I had a bosun’s berth on a freighter
departing Newport News for the Islands.
Now I’m devising weapons in dumpster alleys,
locked in a revolutionary moment.
Sharing Homage to Catalonia
with a death bed brother,
port drips his chin, stains
shirt collar and wiping sleeve.
As a rescue car idles in
the air raid night,
Bermuda slips away,
like rum drinks on the tongue.

R.T. Castleberry, a Pushcart Prize nominee, has work in Steam Ticket, Vita Brevis, As It Ought To Be, Trajectory, Silk Road, StepAway, and Dissident Voice. Internationally, he's had poetry published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, New Zealand, Portugal, the Philippines and Antarctica. His poetry has appeared in the anthologies: Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, TimeSlice, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, and Level Land: Poetry For and About the I35 Corridor. He lives and writes in Houston, Texas. Read other articles by R.T..