To be an Orc

By Jim Pascual Agustin

Sit patiently on a chair like the others.
Whatever skin you show
must be made to look
like old leather dredged

from stagnant sewers.
An electric razor will ravage
your scalp so a misshapen skull
can be plastered over. Your nose

and ears will be layered
with latex the texture of gravel.
If you should have speaking lines
on camera, you must learn to bare

those jagged dental prosthetics,
flick that blackened tongue.
You’ll wear grease-smeared rags
and a helmet that won’t stay on

as you run while being filmed
so close to a cliff. You will die
in different locations again
and again. Your own mother

will not recognize you
among the scattered bodies
in the panoramic sweep
of smoldering battlefields.

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Jim Pascual Agustin

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