Civil War
Adam Peterson

Robert E. Lee birthed Civil War in a dream, but he had named his son long before there was a mother or directions which might tell us which way to point the guns. Throughout his life, the general had carried a silver nameplate stamped Civil War around his neck. It was meant to be nailed above a crib, but no one can predict how these things will happen. Instead Robert E. Lee never met his son, only created him and waged him and killed him. The dream started like this: there was a flag from which everyone got to choose a color. The first boy chose red, the second boy blue, the third boy white. The fourth boy chose knife. The fifth boy chose hammer. The sixth boy was shorter than the rest. The seventh boy loved the fifth boy. The eighth boy had dreams where his father accused him of horrible crimes. The ninth boy loved the seventh boy. The tenth boy had no self-control. The eleventh boy collected turtle shells. The twelfth boy thought maybe the second girl liked him more than her boyfriend. The second girl didn't know what had happened to the first girl. The first girl disappeared. The dream ended like this: there was a boy with a flag, but the flag had no colors. Everyone knew blue meant justice and red meant valor and white meant surrender. No one was sure what clear meant, but they watched the boy wave the flag back and forth until he was old, until he died.