Dancing on the Head of a Pin . by Jemshed Khan

In the bang of war

the rifle butt smacks

the sniper’s shoulder:

another bullet swifts

the long dark hollow

of the killing barrel.


Minutes after the landing

the Rooster is strutting

The cameras are rolling

Hand shakes all around

Top brass is beaming

and cheering begins.


I scarcely fathom the howl

of all this volumed Kevlar―

yet my nation dances

on the bones of the dead

to bend the will of others

to a pin on a map.


Jemshed Khan has published poems in such magazines as Number One Magazine, Wittenberg Review, #BlackArtMatters (2016), Read Local (2016), Rigorous (2017), NanoText(Medusa’s Laugh Press, 2017) and the chapbook Paean for Billy Collins (Calliope Club Press, 2017). 

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review.  Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri.  She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.

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