The McKinley Review Magazine

We Go to War

By: Steve Klepetar | Posted on: March 2018

Slowly we go to war,

playing with our guns like children in the sand.

Slowly, slowly we come to understand the language of bombs,

the breath of bullets like another kind of wind.

It takes a while under the sky, when fire sweeps over the hill.

Slowly we face each other in the trench, speak under our breaths.

The enemy is all around, but each of them is terribly afraid.

We are terribly afraid.

Our guns are heavy and have many lives.

We are light as air and all of us died long ago.

We crossed the field and died with our arms exposed.

We climbed the hill and tumbled down.

We drowned in the river, sank under the waters of a black pond.

Nobody came for us. Sirens howled as we disappeared beneath the dirt.

Steve Klepetar lives in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. His work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Chiron, Deep Water, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Muse: India, Night Garden, Poppy Road Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Klepetar is the author of fourteen poetry collections and chapbooks, the most recent of which include How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps), Why Glass Shatters (One Sentence Chaps), and o filho da bebedora de café (The Coffee Drinker’s Son), translated into Portuguese by Francisco Jose de Carvalho.