One Man’s Martial Service ~ Ray Succre

When briefly green-sleeved arms endure cuts in
half-madness, he must leave;  the very sky states
his loss as broadly clear.

Save what Texas parts in waving heat, the martial base
on its land, hot through fanned expanses and
the scrub-lain flatness, and its orders, strong and finched
from barking mouths, there is no gravity but to injure
the arm.

“This is an awful way,” he thinks, “weak and sickly,
but I can’t stay a second week.  I’ll barely think
another day.”  The shoots become the heat, and Sun
transforms into sergeant.  The fuses of his legs begin
to bend like soaked beams, burst into their boots
and shaking unreliably. 

Blur is used.
The lunacy closes thin, and a scissors opens wide;
The hand is fisted, the breath is held,
and the dragging only captures more heat,
but then blood, and lines of it, setting him into a ward,
then a flight,
then a city,
milestone places, and each a cell and shame-felt step
toward his home.


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