Poem by Brandon Beck


 

Our National Anthem

We fight over who stands and who kneels
And what our flag is meant to represent

But if we stopped to listen we would hear
What many in this country have heard for years:

That our national anthem is not a song—
It is the sound of gunfire and of bullets hitting bodies

 

Listen

our national
anthem is

the sound
of gunfire

 

An Immodest Distraction

It’s
hard
to
care
about
who’s
standing
and who’s
kneeling
or even
what song is playing
when
bullets
are raining
down

 

Brandon Beck is the founder and editor-in-chief of West Texas Literary Review. He writes poems, short stories, essays, and academic articles, which have appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review (forthcoming), Coup D’Etat (forthcoming), Oddball Magazine, The Texas Tribune, Texas Tech Law Review, and South Texas Law Review. He has degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, Boston University, and Texas Tech University.

Chad Parenteau is Associate Editor of Oddball Magazine. He takes pictures sometimes.

 

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