New Poetry by Aaron Wallace


Truck 2 is hit,
and they’re calling
for the medic,
and I’m out of my truck
kneeling next to the driver –
I could hold his organs in my hands.

At the top of Stanley Road
Tim the Chip Man sings
steak and kidney pie,
steak and kidney pie, oh my my,
I love steak and kidney pie
to the deep fat fryer.

The lieutenant is mouthing
words over the radio as the rifles tap-tap-tap
like the pen in my hand signing the mortgage
to the only home I’ve ever had
and Cole is tap-tap-tapping a magazine
against his helmet to knock the sand out
before he reloads.

The lieutenant is mouthing
words over the radio as my wife
breaks the crest of the dunes
backlit by a burning ball of hydrogen on her way
to our altar on the beach,
while the driver bleeds in waves.

The lieutenant is mouthing words over
the radio while the VA doctor explains
that the war will kill us now
or some other time so I stick the driver
with too much morphine.

I walk with my wife and son
in Central Park. Trees are chirping—
the bird is on the way, the bird is on the way.

War Porn

After mission he sits covered
in sand, sweat, blood, then boots
up his laptop – listens to the whir of the hard
drive as he goes through folders and picks
his favorite girl, blonde with globular breasts
and gapped teeth, who bounces
her ass on the floor and looks up at him, her hands
braced against him while she moans

Do it Daddy, give it to me, I need it.”

He turns away, uninterested, and thinks
instead about the woman from the village,
her supple voice babbling and crying
while he kicks over pots and furniture—
she eventfully falls—reaching
for anything, everything, to throw at him,
cursing him, his family, his country, and he hears
Bucky outside urging him to do it, just fucking do
her – so he reaches down,
undoes his fly, spits on his hand, thinking
how lucky am I?

Photo Credit: Basetrack 18
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Aaron Wallace

Aaron Wallace is a former U.S. Army Medic. During his enlistment he served as a combat medic, rape crisis counselor, and women’s health coordinator. Since Aaron’s honorable discharge in 2013 he has graduated from Jacksonville University (JU) with honors. At JU he won several prizes for his poetry and held the Editor-in-Chief position for the Aquarian, the university’s arts and literary journal. Aaron is currently in the first semester of his MFA at Lesley University. Outside of writing poetry, Aaron manages the Jacksonville University Writing Center. and is an avid supporter of Liverpool Football Club. He lives with his beautiful wife, Darby, and their dog, Benji, in Jacksonville, Florida.

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