a soldier.

October 6, 2017

a cog in the clock
just a piece in the war machine
he has a gun in hand and a helmet around his head
a wife and child back home

the faces he sees, they stay with him
pictures that he sketches in the dark of night
when the bombshells provide the only light

each day that passes
the gun moves closer to his pillow
protecting his small cot from the horrors outside

layers and layers of grime, blood, and dirt
coat the skin of the man who was
the war ends, and his gun never leaves his hip

back home, the battle wages on
behind his eyes and below his heart
his fingers, barrels; his wife’s earrings, grenade pins

his son’s face is the afghan boy
small and round and suddenly half gone
screaming for his daddy to come back

the man cannot escape
behind his eyes are gray and red
the colors of the war-torn sky
he finds it hard to breathe
with a gun to his skull

the screams never reach past the empty house
his wife’s frigid fingers around severing papers
bruises color their skin like clouds after rain
or of orange and red explosions
in the lull of night

he paints the walls in their faces, of the men he’s killed
the curtains cry for violence
loneliness tugs at his vision
the war follows him like a shadow
as constant as the rain that falls outside his window

the silence screams, and he screams back
for he’s afraid it might consume him
driving to the store, he must be silent
for bombs in his stomach might ring out once again

the sun streams in through tattered curtains
glinting off of the dusty medallions and pins
inscribed with what he once was
the man has become the war
and the war has seized the man
never to return again.






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