By C. Garcia

Forward Operating Base Speicher, Iraq 2005

It’s hot as f–k out here today!
The waiting room to Hell, hot!
130 degrees extra crispy, sizzlin’ hot!
How am I supposed to fight in this?

And I hate that b—–d President for sending us here to die like this.
And I hate his air conditioning and his stupid white f–king face.
And I hate his big bulging pockets made from the blood we spilling.

But I can’t say s–t, or they’ll throw me in prison.
Can I just get through today? Just. Today. ’Cause …

There go the stars
There go the stripes
There go my homies in those caskets
There goes my life.

At night, I look up at the stars that can’t see me.
How can I fight for freedom when I ain’t free?

They added six thousand more soldiers to this base last night.
All of the port-a-johns are flooded with s–t.
There are no lights on this base.
It’s dark and quiet.
Too dark and too damn quiet.
Until gunfire. Again.

There go the bullets
There go the silence
There go the choppers and the medics
There goes compliance.

I fall asleep but never dream and never sleep
And I curse God that I’m still alive when I wake up
Tired, lonely and afraid that
Today. Today’s the day. I’ll catch them bullets today.

 

Kansas City – East side 2015

It’s cold as f–k in here today!
The ass crack of a glacier cold!
Burnin’ books to stay warm, I can see my breath cold!
How am I supposed to fight in this?

And I hate that b—–d President for keeping us here to die like this.
And I hate his fine working furnace and his stupid lying f–king face.
And I hate that he watches as his own people are being murdered.

But I can’t do s–t, this new life is a prison.
Can I just get through today? Just. Today. ’Cause …

There go the stars
There go the stripes
There go my home and my dignity
There goes my wife.

At night, I look at the stars that I can’t see.
How can I fight for freedom when I ain’t free?

How many people live in this house now? I can’t keep up.
The only goddamn toilet’s flooded with s–t.
There’s no power in this house.
It’s dark and quiet.
Too dark and too damn quiet.
Until gunfire. Again.

There go the bullets
There go the sirens
There go the choppers and the leeches
There goes white silence.

I fall asleep. I can still smell blood in my dreams
And I curse God that I’m still here when I wake up
Tired, lonely and afraid that
Today. Today’s the day. I’ll catch my own bullet today.

C. Garcia, Iraq 2005
C. Garcia, KC 2015

C. Garcia is a political and social justice activist and community organizer. She is an Iraq war veteran who has committed her life to dismantling systems of white supremacy and oppression while lifting up voices and communities of marginalized people.