A Poem By Sara Joy Márquez
Global War on Terror Service Ribbon
(excerpt from “Insignia Sonnets”)
I want to turn you inside out. From head
to toe, I want to know each act you did
for us. I want numbers, how many dead
by your hand and whether they deserved it
in your mind. I fight to understand how
my brother has known what it is to kill
another, and what that might make him now.
I want to shake our nation with its twill
sports coats and golden fields fed with cow shit
by its shoulders. This war bred a terror
in you that it couldn’t take back if it
tried. It left you alone, the sole bearer
of a pain it subsidized, your face turning blue—
and it won’t let up till it’s through with you.
Originally from Wisconsin, Sara Joy Márquez has moonlighted as a farmer, butcher, and food educator. She is currently working on her first book-length manuscript, in which she examines her older brother’s experience serving in the United States Army. She is particularly interested in post-traumatic stress disorder and its reverberations within her brother’s life, their family and their community. Márquez is due to complete her MFA from Columbia University later this summer. She resides in Brooklyn, and works in book publishing and the food industry.
Photo Credit: Corey Lyle Peterson