Inspired by LeVana Lynn Johnson

stationed in Iraq i was headed for the bathroom it was dark out and my brothers in arms were sleeping but i couldn’t
sleep because i needed to pee i’d only been there for two months while most of the others for at least a year
everyone else had caught on the the subtle details of planning a body schedule in war
the cliques were already set i heard the rumors about me from people i didn’t even know but everybody gossips
because there’s only that and the geedunk to live off of but i ate alone because i didn’t know anyone and i felt so
alone i just wanted to serve my country and save some money so that i could go to college without burdening my

i loved them

so far away from my family my actual brothers my sister my father and mother i needed moments alone to cry
i had told my mother a few days ago i might be home for Christmas just a few more months
that night i just needed to pee and as i walked to the bathroom they jumped me i
felt confused as the base was secure there were no insurgents just my peers but i was flipped onto my back on the
hard dusty ground and i fought to get up but they held me down punching my face with their fists and the butts of
their guns and then shoving their hands between my legs ripping my clothes and i felt the pressure of my face
welling up and i tried to turn over and scream but they gagged my mouth and then the welling moved to the pressure
between my legs and it ripped me open afraid and dry and i started to cry and i couldn’t fight anymore and they
stopped for a moment one standing over me they were whispering to each other and the pressure turned to burning
i could almost hear the skin between my legs start to sizzle with the acid they poured onto me i tried to get up and

i couldn’t see through my eyes drenched with blood and tears
they drug me to their tent i saw the flames rising up from my clothes a bullet went through me
and in the dark sands of war they said i committed suicide and sent me home
but my nose is still broken and my eyes are still black and my whole innocent life is still burnt and bleeding
like the rest of my family who you tell that my patriotism wasn’t enough
that at 19 years old i was too weak to be valiant in my service to your money making cause and its men
when your cause disappears I will remain in the desert fighting

my blood alive and reaching

through the sands

digging into the skins of your history

I will not let go     and I will not disappear