One Afternoon Over Baghdad

by S. K. Kelen

Just about to knock off after a mission
the co-pilot tapped on the pilot’s shoulder.
‘I have targeted 15 civilians walking on the street.’
‘Copy that. I see them.’ It was like when
you’re a kid playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
and machine-gunning the hundred topless
strippers who run out of the club screaming.
This was real — it’s a lot quicker and less sexy
killing foreigners. ‘Should I?’ the pilot
asks, ‘I can blow them away but the window of...’
‘Do it,’ Ground Control agrees. The pilot
squeezes the joystick: ‘I have impact.’
Just a puff of smoke on the screen. Ground
Control responds, ‘Dude!’ he says, ‘dude.’

S. K. Kelen's picture

S. K. Kelen is a widely published Australian poet. His most recent books are Goddess of Mercy (Brandl & Schlesinger, 2002), and Earthly Delights (Pandanus Press, 2006)

Last updated July 19, 2011