Love and Violence — Leesa Cross Smith’s “Sometimes We Both Fight in Wars”

“Sometimes We Both Fight in Wars”
(an excerpt)

He lives on an orange houseboat when he’s home and sometimes he fights in wars. He tells me of course. Of course he’s killed a man with his bare hands. He says of course like he’s digging a deep hole–a small, sharp shovel stabbing a whopping rock. I want him to show me. I motion for him to stand up and I get in front of him, press my back against his chest, pull his arms around me and wrap one around my neck. Press my palm against his pointy elbow. Show me. Pressing and pressing. (The whole world is my palm pressing against his pointy elbow, his hips against my hips.) I ask him if he’s okay. He nods into the back of my neck, slides his arms down and tugs at the hem of my dress, lets his fingertips brush the bare skin of my thighs.

Leesa Cross Smith’s short story, “Sometimes We Both Fight in Wars”, appeared on the SmokeLong Quarterly‘s weekly segment last week, and immediately struck me.
At times both violent and sensual, the piece draws the reader in with dramatic and striking imagery, quickly announcing itself as a poetic piece of prose that uses metaphor to portray a tale both personal and tragic.
The real strength of this piece, in my mind, is the juxtaposition between beautiful and violent imagery—the difference between the sweet sounds and bloody knives. Each sentence is a scene of beauty or violence or both, and the tale becomes sad and beautiful, sexual and frightening all at once. Imagery of violence walks hand in hand with that of love, and we see a very real battle play out between two human beings.

At only 450 words, “Sometimes We Both Fight in Wars” is surprisingly effective, striking at the heart of the reader with beauty, visceral imagery and surreal human relations.

His heart is a heavy, loaded gun he hands over to me, lets me spin on my finger. Wait don’t shoot.

Read the entirety of “Sometimes We Both Fight in Wars” over at SmokelongQuarterly.


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]ZACHARY WOODARD is a big geek living outside of Philadelphia. He’s fascinated by sharp things, roleplaying games, horror stories and cartoons. He is most afraid of aliens, the inevitability of death, and the human race failing to go to Mars. When he’s not writing he’s probably complaining about it on his twitter, @Shark_Bull.[/author_info] [/author]