The Hurt Locker

By Brian Turner Brian Turner
Nothing but hurt left here.
Nothing but bullets and pain
and the bled-out slumping
and all the fucks and goddamns
and Jesus Christs of the wounded.
Nothing left here but the hurt.
 
Believe it when you see it.
Believe it when a twelve-year-old
rolls a grenade into the room.
Or when a sniper punches a hole
deep into someone’s skull.
Believe it when four men
step from a taxicab in Mosul
to shower the street in brass
and fire. Open the hurt locker
and see what there is of knives
and teeth. Open the hurt locker and learn
how rough men come hunting for souls.

Brian Turner, “The Hurt Locker” from Here, Bullet. Copyright © 2005 by Brian Turner. Reprinted by permission of Alice James Books.

Source: Here Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005)

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Poet Brian Turner

Subjects Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Brian  Turner

Biography

Brian Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and lived abroad in South Korea for a year before serving for seven years in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division. Then in November 2003 he was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. His first book, Here, Bullet, chronicles his time in Iraq.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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