Toyota Tacoma / Alex Johns


I drive one, like so many do
and lately mine's
looking more and more
like the real thing,

gravel-scratched paint on
that too-familiar frame
spitting dust through
some pathetic village
past retreating figures

Somalia,
Sierra Leone
Afghanistan

illiterate, skinny boys
in back, behind
that .50 cal.
shell casings crowding
around calloused bare feet.

Hell, desperate
Libyans even welded

anti-aircraft guns and
multiple rocket launchers

into the bed of a jacked-up Prerunner,
mine's got some straw, stray sticks and shells

from pistachios tossed out
the window, caught then dropped in that
swirl of wind.

Rwanda, Uganda
Arkansas

Remember that tired footage
of him, the devil incarnate
kneeling before one, firing his rifle
to the muezzin's sacred approval?

Toyota,
This is how you market yourself in the twenty-first century,
vehicle of the human will,
the choice of warlords worldwide
the Kalashnikov of pick-up trucks.

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