Firewall

Image

 

Keep it

just over the berm, no,

further, beyond the punched out bicuspids of Kandahar.

If there’s enamel to be scraped

do it on the far side

of mud walls until smoke rises like a preteen in fits—

in short bursts of sporadic fire on the other end of a television

clambering to tell vapid tales

of concussive blasts—

an echo of a telegram, dead

by the time it reaches, acres clear of nodding infantry,

as if poolside by poppy plants.

 

It’s best to keep it

somewhere else.

 

Nope, not gonna’ get rope-a-doped

back into the material world of gunplay.

The hack-hacking

of another joking broken soldier unloading.

Sapped

in the same ditch he finds his counterpart:

strokes from the cleft of the ear across,

shrapnel upending clean butcher slices

returning his pallet of bones to the stars they rose in.

 

This is not what sells. They say

if it bleeds it leads, but they insist upon ketchup.

Not the amber glow either of us were looking for.

We keep it locked in safety deposit boxes patrolled by Swiss guards

plucking chocolates

from a golden tray.

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