War Games

Laurel Nakanishi

There is a war at school       You are not sure how it began
                                                                                            Everyone is carrying rocks

     The lines are so clearly drawn
that you find yourself on the gutter-behind-the-kickball-field team
          without even trying        Mariko      whose name
always reminded you of some type of mariner
                                         is pointing out the weakness in the enemy’s defense

This is a rock-throwing war

all of their pockets bulge        Keoni holds a big one
in both hands         At some point the rocks are thrown
They must be

Afterwards     you go home      you clean up     you wrestle spaghetti
                All that time the rock you threw
is still in the air         It is arching over third base

it is ten paces from the soft foreheads of the enemy     It is spinning slightly
               still warm from your palm