I brought the war, by Cally! Womick

The following is a response, or perhaps companion, piece to Olia Lialina’s My Boyfriend Came Back from the War.

I didn’t go- none of us did.
They thought we went, but we didn’t.


We were here.
They didn’t think so, so they screamed at us
and shot at us
and wanted us to die.
“Maluus zebr” they said about
each of us in turn.

But here it is, I still have it.

And this- see the dust
still caked into the fibers?
I shouldn’t have it, they have rules about trophies,
but this is from when we were bombed
out of bed-
well, I wasn’t in bed.

I couldn’t sleep, so I was bare and wet
in the cement shower house.
I knew I was going to die.
I sobbed under one of those
crummy metal sinks, waiting for the walls to cave in
on me or a mortar to drop into
my lap or my crazy heart to just explode.

But they didn’t and it didn’t and it didn’t,
but maybe I still did. Die. I feel dead.
I’m not a man anymore.

Please don’t look like that.
I don’t mind.
I’m good at what I do.
I’m a killing machine.
I’m a god.

This is what they make of us, and they’re damn good at it.
I was in basic with this
scrawny, nerdy wimp from
Ethan. Ethan Brown.
Most boring-ass name ever.
He’s a sniper now.
He could hit you right between the eyes-
equal distance from each-
from 2000 meters.
You wouldn’t hear a thing,
and then you’d be dead.
How about that scrawny nerd from Minnesota?

Babe, don’t cry.

Yes, I like your dress.
But you know I like green on you
so much better.

White, hell, I don’t know how to
keep anything white.

I would touch you,
but you look so beautiful.
My hands are dirty.
Yes, they are. Look at them.

I’m not shouting.
Ok, I’m sorry. Please don’t cry.
The dress is beautiful.

Then why are you crying?



You didn’t write.
I wrote to you.




…I remember.
I’m not sure than I can, either.
Not since.

Please don’t ask
me now.
I’m so tired.

Who knew that the dead slept?
I always imagined we would torment
the world of the living after nightfall.
Who knew that it was the other way around?

I’m tired.
I’m so tired.
Here, hold me.