Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ghost Battalion

 


She sees a formation.
A Spartan square,
men with rheumy noses
and walking feet,
unison steps beating up the
dirt and the dust
with muscles and direction
and erections fueling
their charge toward her
down the hill
They came yesterday
and the day before
when she was washing the dishes
and driving her car


The one in back
has been here the longest
And he’s the tallest and the
youngest
He pioneered these grounds
when there was still grass
and white flowers
Now there’s only weedy mallows
He’s giving cues to the one in the front
Who joined last May.


And all the marches, foot metronomes,
reenactments of love-war moves
harmonious combinations executed
again and again.
They take in-breaths together
And the out breath makes a cloud of
stinking gas -- biological warfare.

Have the men she loved really become
a ghost battalion? A flock, a pack,
a singular desire to eat her heart?
If so--
call her Captain.


But sometimes when it rains
and the dust is wetted down
She sees a field of weary men,
one drags a stick in the ground,
another stares at the sky,
and the tallest looks impatient
as he strums his thumbs
on his thigh.


United as a flock of hens
her memories poised to die.

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