“Rumors of Wars” by Zachary Lunn

Cold dog tags
press against my chest
under the weight
of kevlar body armor. Their
embossed words
imprint into my skin.
Name. Social Security Number.
Latter-Day Saint.

My Humvee’s air conditioning
does just enough to
make me want more.
I tell my gunner
Iraq was once
the Garden of Eden.
Guess again, he says, and
throws a piss bottle
into the street.

We shot a man yesterday.
someone had said.
Black hair caught in the zipper
of the body bag. Maybe
this is what Adam looked like.
Maybe I should pray
when I’m not

The missionaries in my ward
back home
told me there is a painting
of Teancum
hanging in the MTC.
His spear in a
killing motion.
For Teancum and me,
war is not a rumor.


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