Rose & Thorn Journal  -  Summer 2010

David M. Buhajla is a writer and poet living in the Arkansas Ozarks with his wife Marci and his daughter Maya. He teaches English at Arkansas Tech University. His work is currently available in Counterexample Poetics, Sex and Murder, and Danse Macabre.

David M. Buhajla



My hand is raised to

the sky and I look

at the beam of sunlight

that shines through

the bullet hole in my palm.


The hole stares at me, a red-rimmed



I look up at the man

in the black uniform. He asks

if I am a Christian.

The word for God in my

mother’s tongue

is Isten. He is a pagan god.

We were monotheistic

before the Christians came.


“It’s all a matter of perspective,”

I say before he pulls the trigger.






I stand on a street corner

and watch as a man with

Willie Nelson braids invokes

Armageddon. His eyes blaze

with holy fire in the night before he

melts into a pool of abstraction.



I sit on a bed in Mexico 

as cockroaches crawl

and whisper on the walls. I hear

them grumble praise to Mithra

in their mini-Masonic ritual

and song. In a dank cave below me,

she smiles and caresses the rock

with her breasts.



The old woman walks in circles,

singing the same three notes over

and over in an octogenarian chant.

Her socks are stained with months

of sweat as she babbles

in three languages.



The young and passionate

doctor cuts along his hairline,

peels off his scalp, and begins

to chew on it as the virus

he just created feeds on

the part of his brain that

controls self-preservation.



The boy under the Superman

blanket twitches, eyes open,

trapped in a cage of sleep

paralysis as the shadowed

silhouette stands over the bed.

Outside, the crackle of gunshots

echo across the neighborhood.



Across the Atlantic, the priest

sees sound and hears light as he

puts the gun to his temple. The crucifix

in his room falls off of the wall

and stands on end, glowing with zeal.



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