Military Grade

Issue 12 | Summer 2024 |



Over dinner, my wife says she wants to buy
a bullet proof vest. They make them not so
heavy now. Good ones sold online.

She tells me she’ll wear it to work, when she goes
to the store, or wherever— like if she happens
to be outside.

I don’t know if I’m supposed to write this down, but maybe
she’s 120 pounds. And each day she kneels
at the threshold of our house,

removes the insoles from one favorite pair of shoes and
places them into another. Because we have grown
accustomed to comfort,

to yellow forensic tape and evidence markers
erect beside each shell casing. To sulfur
that ignites the air.

And we believe in a projectile’s weight,
and in the true ballistic distance
to the pillow of soft flesh.