Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

The New Republic

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POETRY SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

For which my brother huddled
all night in the lot of some box
     store on Coliseum. & the pealing
 
guns of which split
the walls of our bedroom for months, much
          like Baghdad, I imagined,
 
whose fathers bomb-
proofed the ears of their children each night
          at bedtime. Except,
 
you know, not. Not
the wrecked roof & welts
          where the metal held them.
 
Not the smart-bomb & boxes
of dead. The ex-box. The X-
          marks-the-spot box. Not
 
the wedge of flag our neighbor
David came back as. That
          night, we fired
 
round after round at brown-skinned, scarf-
fitted pixels. In
          high-resolution, the wound
 
blooming like a kiss. Call
of Duty: the digital,
          Middle-Eastern teenager toppling. Want
 
is rarely respectable. What
this century left us is just
          this one way to be men. If x,

then why? When the sky
explodes, strap on
     your body.

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