Juan Spinnato

Your Guilty Enemy

childhood prepared me for war,
when I arrived it became no surprise
what individuals could do, even to a child.
I belonged as the ten year-old-boy
cornered in his bedroom, terrorized
when the artillery shells began to fall.
I deserved to be the young man
ransacked and disappeared,
while his family condemned
to horror with death in darkness,
yelled at with unintelligible nonsense
not even meant to be understood.
I should have been the woman in the streets
with all the powers of the world
pointing down manly barrels,
unable to articulate why I deserve to live
why I deserve to be left alone.
I am the child throwing rocks
forced with punishment for the deeds of others,
or perhaps for what I have,
in failed hope, done in desperation for life.
I deserved to be the tortured soul
locked up in my own house
of forced degradation and ridicule
for daring to live, daring to defy
daring to believe the extent
of my freedom, my existence.
I am the skin colored with shame
forced to look at me from the outside,
and I can see how you sometimes
confuse me with innocent enemies.

Glory And Isolation

The gulf between us…
is bigger than the oceans and seas
that took me to the shores of war.
We live in the same country
but I am banned from your reality.
Somehow you relate more than I do
to the generals and commanders of war.
They hold their heads high
during dog and pony shows.
Gleaming sophistication of precise equipment,
yet, in the shit, they come up short,
for both us and the liberated civilians.
But here everything is a spectacle to be enjoyed
and a reserved seriousness
for the authority of their power.
They led me to war
but they seem to have you
completely wrapped up in a military utopia.
I wish you could understand,
even for a minute,
what these spectacles mean to another people, I relate to more than I do to you.

Don’t you care enough to know why?

The Fitful in the Empire

Thunder rips dreams from sleep.
The fitful heave themselves upon their mattresses.
Lightening sears all eyelids open.
The fitful heave themselves upon their mattresses.

The voluminous sweat from the back seeps through bone and flesh.
The sacred sweat from the brow washes away all ease.
The sweat sweet of the loins aches with lost love.

The cost of living climbs.
The fitful heave themselves upon their mattresses,

as sacrifices for the cost of empire.
The bloody sweat from their hands has dried up.

Ready the Callous

Darkness accumulates in the moonless night,
spilling from my mind, adjoining child fright.
I await, no time to have defined some might,
that I stand strong against the coming fight.
Heat... the wretched heat... I stir malcontent.
Young eyes, young tongue, familial foment.
I hear it first in the floor... vibrations... the booms,
then piercing to my heart... cracking... the dooms.
Panic ices and stifles my sufficient, ignited mind.
God's righteousness, always loyally consigned.
Violent rage, masquerades as spiritual will.
No concealment, no cover, walls closing to kill.
Open flash, exposed to punishing assault.
Dominant enemy, my heart judged at fault.
Worn down and now assuming attrition.
Listen... the coming of future submissions.
Yes sir, I'm ready now, to leave my home,
serve the country on its imperial throne.
Subjugated me, now can subjugate thee.
Infect the world, as another damaged seed.

Your Guilty Enemy

Video 2 Title

Juan Spinnato

I served in the Marine Corps from 2003-2007. I joined because of 9/11, believing this was the best way to respond to a humanitarian crisis. Now I am going to medical school because I do not want to carry aid in one hand and a rifle in the other. As a physician, I will work for global health equity and social justice. I was one of the founders of Boston Warrior Writers in 2013.