Kim Garcia


I’m seven and I can go to hell
if I think of a sin and do it,
so I’m forgetting all I can
but some things stay stuck


like wishing he were dead
even though I said, God bless
our brave men and women in uniform
seven times seven after


and Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
not in the mad way that sends you
to hell, but the happy way that means
you’re praying, and you mean it.


And he still hit her and broke things
and there wasn’t any reason
but she screamed one time, I’m glad
you’re going back to a Rock,


and I’m sure that’s bad because he stopped
hitting things and started to cry, loud
so I could hear him. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
God bless our brave men and women in uniform.


And now when I make myself go to sleep
after mama says our prayer, God bless daddy
in Iraq (not a rock at all, a sand place),
I dream I’m the girl drone


my daddy said he’d fly one day after he
got done with the drones he flew in Nevada.
One day they’d be drones mixed with people
like transformers, but all good. And he’d


feel his G’s again, and it would be like flying
in your own skin, not inside a box,
and think how high you’d be, way over the desert
and you’d kill all the bad guys and save


the good people. The pastor says when you’re seven
you know good and bad, and I could fly over
to where my daddy is and be invisible right
over his bed, and he’d say, baby, is that you?


But I wouldn’t say anything. I’d watch him
and see when he turned good. Then I’d say
Are you good now? Are the bad guys dead?
And he’d say, Yes, baby, we’re through.

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 ReviewCrazyhorseMississippi ReviewNimrod 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.


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