with a head against a stranger’s shoulder. Every bomb
every bullet is coming towards you, every hand holding
a detonator. A jolt in the road, and it’s all over. Where am I?
A battlefield is home compared to that place. Then, it’s day.A buddy is sprawled on the bench seat, mouth raw, agape.
Tenderness. Maybe bombs are outside waiting, but here
a bit of morning comes through dirt-smudged windows.
The driver swigs coffee from a flask. He’s driven all night
while you slept helpless. A flood of thanks, before thinking,
at the back of his head. The windshield is full of blue sky.
The drones will be out, Bethlehem stars, clearing the way.
You let the thanking in, the melt where fear was, blood warm.
Give into it, like you give into the truck’s shake through
your bones, like whiskey. Let it soak your parched ground.
Kim Garcia is the author of The Brighter House, winner of the 2015 White Pine Press Poetry Prize, DRONE, winner of the 2015 Backwaters Prize, and Madonna Magdalene, released by Turning Point Books in 2006. Her chapbook Tales of the Sisters won the 2015 Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, Nimrod and Subtropics, and her work has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac. Recipient of the 2014 Lynda Hull Memorial Prize, an AWP Intro Writing Award, a Hambidge Fellowship and an Oregon Individual Artist Grant, Garcia teaches creative writing at Boston College.