There is a War

after CA Conrad

We wake early and everyone is in love. Everyone is shooting love everywhere. The coffee is still dripping and it smells like love. Between our legs we are love and ready for it. Our middles armed with it. Our feet arched to run. The grass is hot like sparklers. I buy these bullets, and I love them. I give them to a soldier. He takes my palm in his black hands, he says all these lines mean KILLER and I love you, dear, so much. So much I love you. All around are bodies, sensitive matter piled high. I kiss everyone on the mouth, soak my hair in their blood so when it runs down I am a beating red heart. At night, drunk with love, everyone goes home. I sing Whitman in the dark. If poetry doesn’t strip me naked, then nothing will.

Katie Mertz is Associate Editor for Whiskey Island and Assistant Poetry Editor for Phantom Limb Press. When she is not doing those things, she is co-curating the BIG BIG MESS reading series and making noise at the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poor Claudia, Ilk, Toad le Journal, Birdfeast & others. Her poem "This is How to Be Good" was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Akron, Ohio.