MERCENARY

Gottdammit, gentlemen,

the old Nazi swore

in a nightmare accent,

master my art

before it masters you.

 

The garrote, he shouted,

Works quiet and quick.

Make the loop on your approach,

flip it over the head,

slam your knee into Charlie’s balls,

yank downward to the bone

in one eye’s blink.

Sure, smartass, you can break a neck

with a choke hold, he grinned,

but you better know what you’re doing.

 

For a night kill in a village,

he half whispered,

use a snub nose.

It’s small, light, perfect

for crawling next to the target,

blasting a hollow point

directly through the ear.

 

Gottdammit, gentlemen, he screamed

until he must have had blood on his throat,

I want to buy a beer some day

in a bar in Cleveland .

Make that weapon a part of your body.

Let the steel of your  bayonet

lead you forward.

Don’t get it stuck in the ribs, stupid!

When you thrust,

shove it up under sternum,

shove it hard enough

so the last sound he makes

is nothing more than a sigh.

 

I still hear him screaming at me

To move faster – idiot! –

my grandmother’ll outlive you,

taunting me in his hoarse voice

to sneak up from behind in the dark

and rob Death of another set of ears.

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