Napoleonic Code

by Gail Kelley

Do you know your hero
died alone in a hospital bed
not like a man on the battlefield
but in exile, abandoned, and
your story is not far off
is it le petit corporal? Marching the blacktop
followed by your failures despite your screams
haunted by your secrets despite your locked doors

Regardless of Dr. Antommarch╩╝s findings
your hero did not die from
the cancer gnawing at his bowels, nor
was it arsenic laced croissants
It was the gift from his precious Josephine
the best whore this side of the Seine
boring holes in his brain

So make this your Waterloo
let these words add to
your perpetual masturbation of ego, but
take the cue from the failed house painter
you love to imitate and
suck relief from the business end of a Luger
while the real heroes
save the world

Gail D. Kelley is a student in Los Angeles balancing the word, the brush, and science while trying to become a doctor. His poetry has seen the light of day at Zygote In My Coffe and Instant Pussy. You can see more of his work at