Outside View of the Victory Festivities
Steven D. Schroeder/ Number 89
Each mouth in the crowd launches a fighter jet.
Every confetti flutter represents as much potential
energy as an artillery shell made good. More stars
than on all the souvenir flags, more parts to a salute
than anyone knows. Overturned and burning cars
believe in team. The lottery chooses what boys become
exiles next. Place where darker and darker scars
map futures already faced, where preachers sacrifice
bodies by the score to slow an unstoppable fall.
Men disciplined into stone for days without twitching,
even breath, can still watch with both eyes closed.
To reach an enemy’s heart at such distance,
a single finger touch. This country wants winners.
Steven D. Schroeder’s second book, The Royal Nonesuch (Spark Wheel Press, 2013), won the 2014 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University. His poetry is available or forthcoming from Crab Orchard Review, The Laurel Review, and Four Way Review. He serves as a board member, reading series co-director, and contributing editor for River Styx magazine.Image by Andrew Pons