War, No. 2 A singing hornet hive. A contorted venetian blind splaying starlight onto quilt patches. A Lieutenant of silhouettes. A herd of bleeding dahlias. A scorpion's tail-tip piercing your pant-leg. A swan-egg dipped in slaughter-dew. And rocket-rain, IED-hail, satellite-guided thunder. A limb-snapping sinew-splitting face- lacerater. A death-clot's hot-curdle. A heart-gnarling mind-warping soul- shears. An endless & tireless butcher. * Sailor, No. 3 The hoop-shaped sun rises out of the sea: simple facts keep me from madness. The destroyer's dimple fails to tattoo any wave shellacking the brass rudder's brief drag. Any wave that would bolt our mechanical brunt to the ocean floor sinks beneath a tossing seething whisk. We could cruise through common sense into the demon-deepened ditches of hell, and the sea would just churn and churn, swallowing up the fo'c'sle and the mast before the sun goes down and we burn. * Sailor, No. 4 Where the sea ends a new knowledge begins. One asks if it is the shape of an evidence bag, or the outline of a paw-print. One wonders if a bobcat stalks it right now, or an officer cuffs it. No, I answer, I who flared when a flake of it fell in my eye. In a valley between two mountains, a snow-scape stretches beyond perception. Boot-prints in the crust lead that way. If you followed there would be a body. It would be frozen. * BGM-109 Tomahawk A trim one thousand pound erection bolted in a steel honeycomb. I spark, rumble-up, launch bolts asunder, dazzle into sky-gloam, caressing every cloud in my way, glinting in beady light. Gazing down at matte-black sea-glass: grayer smudges of battle-groups collect in the Gulf. I bore far over, gaining the target, a parabola ascending, the flicker of melting diamonds falls with flash-beacons of mottled ash. My tail of flame-yarns. My tip descends to land to sand to rooftop to street. O how fat fig-trees quiver in my shell-shock. * War, No. 3 I fuck everything I can. I fuck it as hard as I can. When I fuck, I am precise, hollowing out grooves like a lathe. And come back and scoop through again and again and again. I fuck you bat-blind and crippled. Syphilis slides from me like chaff from wheat, like a spent shell-casing tossed in an ammunition hopper. Being detached from the world, tied from a ribbon strung from the roof of hell, I recline, think about who I will fuck next. *
Christopher Lee Miles holds a BFA in creative writing from Bemidji State University and an MFA in poetry from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His work appears in the Connecticut Review, Cortland Review, Eclipse, Grain, Salamander, West Branch, and other publications. His first manuscript, Squid Song, was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. A veteran of the US Navy, he was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He lives in Fairbanks, Alaska.