Grunt by John Martino

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


It happened so fast — like I was spinning
counter-clockwise out of myself, moving
backwards in Time, away from the white-hot
fury of the blast — then slapping against
the mud wall of a blue mosque — only later
did I think to compare it to my father,
the way his hair-trigger, spring-loaded arm
would sometimes snap, and he’d backhand me,
hard, off-guard, right across my sun-struck
face, the red pockets of my eyes filling up
with tears — I don’t know which was worse,
that or falling to a seated position, half-conscious
hole in the sky, my branched legs sticking
out before me, snapped and splintered, tearing
through uniform at the shins and the knees


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John Martino resides in Boston, MA, where he writes poetry, makes photographs and teaches English to international students at the city campus of Fisher College. His poems have appeared in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Kestrel and The Lyric.