the general’s winter lemons
packed in a munitions crate
tamped shut with square nails

for the conscripted men
to suck in wedges, boots
propped on a rail of snake fence.

When they finish, let them lob
the spent meat and mumped skin
like siege shot. Let them laugh

a boy’s laugh as they try to bull’s-eye
their cuts of sun on the peaceable backs
of those grazing, broad-faced ponies.


Author Image

Adam Houle is a PhD candidate at Texas Tech University. His work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in CutBank, Post Road, Cave Wall, and elsewhere.

Photo courtesy Steve Swayne