Paul Ilechko

Love in War

The city is continually dissected
into smaller and smaller pieces
but the sun still illuminates what remains
of the original forest     the small
amount of greenery not overtaken
not swamped with bars and restaurants
nightclubs and businesses      people
bring their portable chairs to
the pocket-size parks       despite
the soldiers marching in the streets
beyond     despite the grinding
tanks that destroy whatever it is
that they choose    just by passing
over it    not needing the destructive
violence of their shells    as they try
to instill fear into a population
inside the heat of their metal shells
the soldiers are stripped to their
underwear   and fantasizing
they’re only teenagers and filled
with longing   singing to each other
in softly amorous voices   their linen
stained with the lustful juice of war
and power     contemplating a time
when they might drink a beer or two
and take their lover brutally from behind.

Poet and songwriter Paul Ilechko lives with his partner in Lambertville, New Jersey. He is the author of several chapbooks. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Ethel Zine, Feral Journal, Iron Horse Literary Review, Gargoyle Magazine, and Book of Matches.

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Spring 2022