“‘And then I saw the lamb of God’ and Other Revelations” (Part 3/5 “Red”) by Anna Keeler


Whenever I feel there are no more wars to fight, my mouth shapeshifts into an antagonist. I manifest what’s left of my body into the worst timing imaginable and just like that, I’m thrust back into the battlefield.

The only thing to come out of me and the fight is a bruising that I’m later told never happened in the first place. I have no peace for myself, so I selfishly take it from anyone who offers because why should I be the only one wrapped in the curls of saturnine?

I try to tell myself that it’s only fair, considering they took my nickles, and my plastic sword, and the crown; the only good thing to my name.

What difference did it make if I robbed others of their light until they were ghosts, while I now had enough bitterness to build and mount an army of horses. I strap the resentment I’ve carried around my shoulders and still protruding stomach, and I use the horticulture in my gut to make a shield and crest of arms and tell the world if they’re smart, they’ll memorize and fear its shape.

I feel no guilt in stampeding their fancy houses to the ground and pillaging the comfort tucked into their beds.

“Come here,” I tell them, “know the pain that I do.”

I am no longer the victim.

I have now become the war.

(234 words)

Justin’s Note: The poignant prose of Anna Keeler never fails to cut straight through to the bone. Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing more of her around these parts.


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