Little Cauliflower | Chloe Firetto-Toomey

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Chloe Firetto-Toomey is an English-American MFA candidate in nonfiction at Florida International University, where she served as a teaching assistant, and poetry editor for Gulf Stream Magazine. She has taught creative writing in elementary schools and the collage classroom, and works as a writing tutor and mixologist while completing her thesis. She is published in all three genres and two of her lyric essays have recently been awarded finalists in Tupelo Quarterly Open Prose Contest, and Diagram 2018 Chapbook Competition, and is a semi-finalist in the Honeysuckle Press 2018 Chapbook Competition; she is also the recipient of the 2017 Christopher F. Kelly Award for Poetry, Academy of American Poets Graduate Competition. She lives in Miami Beach with her fiancé and two street cats.




War Poem

How do I respond to you?
A war Zombie in Bagdad Hospital, hypnotized-
the smell of copper on the walls.
Where a one –eyed Afghan sat with you
a blood-budding poppy
on his head bandage.
Now you’re at college
have a side job
fitting Jewish boys into tailored suits.
I know you don’t believe the old lie
Dulce Et Decorum Est
tattooed on your chest.
Why do you think of going
back when Wilfred Owen got
shot the second-time round?
You’ve come home twice.
G.I Joe dreams of saving the world
are killing us but I like how you
smell my hair before we go to sleep.
Once a killer
always a killer
watering our window plants,
beer breath and cloaked
in stars and stripes.
The typewriter you got me
for Christmas destined
to live by your war chest,
my dream catcher
sways from the air con
as I find myself looking
past your pillow and
straight down the barrel
of your revolver on the dirty laundry basket.