Operation Enduring Freedom, Somalia, PFC A. Shaw

Before the Corps Adam built boats. Deployed—
The dick-stick and Ka-Bar become the same,
two useless tools for fucking. There’s no war;
just hands pierced onto branches, hung like
small bloodied, flesh ornaments, for décor.
Kids beg, gesturing stubs. Soldiers put small
holes in the hulls of boats, slits down the masts.
The boats soon sink. Marines then watch until
the sails look like white flags, half-mast, at sea.
Before the Corps Adam built boats. On leave—
He can only take those boats apart.


Nicholas Finch is a junior at the University of Tampa and the assistant editor of Neon literary journal. He was raised in England and South Africa before moving to Florida. His major influences include Ernest Hemingway, Ben Lerner, Raymond Carver, John Keats, Flannery O’Connor, Rudy Wilson, Cormac McCarthy, Bret Easton Ellis, and Akiko Yosano. Finch has pieces published or has work forthcoming in Haiku Journal, Wyvern Lit, Catfish Creek, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Pioneertown, Gravel Mag, and elsewhere.


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