Photograph of an Iraqi Boy and a US Marine in a House in Ramadi, West of Baghdad

by James Bell

It has to be posed –
the scope on top of the battledress helmet –
the face in profile like the butt up AK –
a finger of the hand that holds the gun
points to the business end on the floor
before where they both sit

The other face is darker – looks up
and highlights the pale stare of its companion –
the simple striped shift gaudy against
the plethora of desert kit – Maglite
stuck casually in a bandana on the helmet –
the wires of the mounted walkie-talkie
like a growth on the body armour –
yet greatest of all is the feet –
whopping size something desert boots
beside tiny nearly slipping off blue sandals

Each in their best –
one’s hands hold death with legs and boots
wide between –
the other’s hands and feet are poised together
at ease as a small sandal touches a large boot –
sit, however briefly