MILITARY

Lakewood CA; High School

Bless your feast with new thought
the radio sang soothing discordance
even sober it was very sublime,
so our bodies went with the flow
Presidential campaign across a troubled nation…
desert war death
so obscene…

I came home from school to watch the war on TV
I was 16; so very naive, so very bold and daring
my patriotism
was a hard dick
of imagined glory
never knowing what a terrible price I would pay

Fort Sill Ok; Basic training and Advanced Individual training

Formation…
the cold bugle
shatters the glass morning
as I am broken and remade
over and over again…

Fort Benning Georgia; Airborne Training

Today
I get ready to enter the belly of a great bird
Carried high through the sky
the earth
so small and delicate below
beckoning
me to return to her dirty breast
I stood in a door
opened
to the passing blue sky
one step
from the womb
embraced
by the deep rapture
of the Slow Eternity
I jump
from the belly of this bird
like Jonah from the whale
Lazarus from the grave
REBORN!

Fort Bragg NC

Solider sweating in the sun
clutching desperately
to his rifle and his rosary
strangled by the conflict of faith and honor
so tired always tired

contrived morality on the line
soul for sale, body for rent
deep rot of loss in the eyes
confusion fear

BLOOD RUSHING ROAR

march to the next field of fire
my dog tags
clenched tightly in my fist
talisman and medals
of my decision made

I think of home

Summer humid heat in the North Carolina forests
artillery cannon roaring like thunder

FIRE MISSION
ONE
ROUND
H.E. VARIABLE TIME FUZE
SET CHECK
LOAD
FIRE

war paint running with sweat
streaks my face with weariness
we prepare for war

I think of home

Bloodshot whiskey eyes
I sit alone at the bar
while the topless dancers
with pretty acid glazed eyes
and practiced plastic smiles
seduce dollars
from lonely
hard dick
soldiers

I think of home

Drunken laughter fills the hallways
loud
full of brass and bravado
as the beer flows freely

throughout time; only the flags change…

Dancing devils on broken angels
do you hear the bells
here comes the carnival
body bag parade
dressed in flags, honors, medals

and gun salutes

Walking through the paths
breathing
deeply of the still quiet air
where nothing grows
blanketed
by wreaths and thousands of little plastic flags
whispering
in the wind thousands of names
all chiseled
with great care by sorrow in this garden of stone

Honorable Discharge; completion of service

Music drifts like smoke
from the radio
hot summer rains falling
in this forested land
Boots polished to reflect like mirrors
muddied by the wet grass.
This is the last time I will wear this proud uniform
I take a journey across the country
to leave behind my life,
to go to the real world
to return a stranger to my family, my friends,
I clutch my dog tags and think of home.

©workingclassproduction.com, 2014

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