by Colleen S. Harris
I rolled him a little to the left,
to shield my flank.
I put his mangled tags
in my right boot against my ankle
so if I made it, they’d know who he was.
If I didn’t, they’d find him with me,
and us a big pile of meat.
But we would have names.
We would not be unknown.
Our mothers would have something to bury.
Editor’s Note: “Confession” comes from the poet’s’s These Terrible Sacraments, forthcoming from Bellowing Ark Press in 2011. The collection moves through stories her younger brother has told her of his time as a US Marine in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Colleen S. Harris works as an academic librarian at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. A 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee, her first book of poems, God in my Throat: The Lilith Poems, was published by Bellowing Ark Press in 2009. Her second and third books of poetry, These Terrible Sacraments and Gonesongs, are forthcoming in 2011. Her work has appeared in Adirondack Review, Wisconsin Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Third Wednesday, Appalachian Heritage and many others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University and an MS in Library & Information Science from the University of Kentucky.