My First

by Jonathan Wilcox

It was not profound, exotic,
did not play
like saffron or zereshk
across my lips.
It didn’t stay with me,
haunt me forever after,
show the scope of my life
in relief, like some storm
shot with static.
Justification was
not necessary;
conscience didn’t burn.
I didn’t reflect afterwards
that he was about my age
and probably liked football too.
Life didn’t accelerate to
hyperspeed, until the roaring in my
ears was cut through
by the gentle click of metal pins
and then the CRACK!
And then everything didn’t slow down
and carry more weight.

No.
I simply lined him up,
checked the windage (1.5″ right),
and watched the left half of his face
evaporate,
from ear to nose.
His AK-47 hit the ground in real time.