Laura Jaramillo

War Machine



Heat maps mark the movement of blood-bearing bodies
across desert sand




The operators open
their inter-
faces ribbed with fire tipped in

blood the men
pull over

to peak over
the side of

a ditch crew
cut and rosy

the men
we’re not hurt
wanting to have
been heroes 

or at least become
the one

the terror and
force the fire and

percussive blow-
back the shrapnel

and tie cuffs the paper
work of modernity

the men perform

operations at
the Spahn Ranch
at Arivaca
at Tabernas

they’ll fake out
a frontier in the
desert of the real

If they have to 
Abide by some basic
to “serve”

then oil the contours
of their physiques

The one man
with such a Barbie
-like arc in

his tit/
muscle the techno-

logical veil

weightless Kevlar
condemned to bear
the melancholy

of Robocop’s sensuous
pink lip the pilots
rip open

A breach in being

becoming war
gods in a sky
from which the

regular gods
have retracted

to rend the veil
of women only
to conceal
their own faces

so they may
witness themselves
being seen
by their marks 

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Laura Jaramillo is a poet from Queens and an unemployed Doctor of Literature specializing in film and media. She is the author of the full-length poetry collection Material Girl (subpress 2012) and many chapbooks. Her criticism and creative work have appeared in JumpCut, The Brooklyn Rail, and IndyWeek.