Download the .mp3 file

"Here, Bullet"

by Brian Turner

If a body is what you want,
then here is  bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta's opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you've started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel's cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue's explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.


Brian TurnerBrian Turner served with the U.S. Army in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq. In "Here, Bullet" a speaker simultaneously taunts death while acknowledging the fragility of life.

Turner has appeared on National Public Radio, PBS, the BBC and other media venues. His memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country, was published in 2014.

"Here, Bullet," from Here, Bullet © 2005 by Brian Turner, used by permission of the author and Alice James Books.