Ode to a Wishing Well
In the presence of God we recycle
rests and resets and strategic reserves.
I have distances––
trenches I kept away from myself.
I have worn the shadow
on my face—the smudging eye black
my horse-bridal bit and mouth piece.
Tastes of dried saliva and freedom
brush your cheek. When I kiss
you leave a coin in my mouth. Token
and totem, I cheek the entire deployment.
Chipmunk choking on dimes at taps
checks out every morning. Each today
tastes like burnt maybes,
like shisha might smell––
burnt, maybe. Today,
I sweat some copper,
taste blood, spit blood refuses
to heal. The same way Sargent
Heaton’s spilt femoral will forever
Be the one artery I can’t seal.
can’t locate it, clamp it, pressure a
kink in his hearts hose. I tear open one
last chance in a pouch. Dump
powdered flesh fire, a caustic fairy dust
called quickclot into an arterial rupture.
Artery’s structures can fail catastrophically
can becoming a blood sprinkler. Incarnadine
spigot we were led we believed was not
just us being bled in the desert, deservedly.
Rarely seen abandoning mu post
to overhear Psyops NCOs laughing
while tying blindfolds over Sunni girls’
Disabuse the mujahedeen of his
Abusive conventional portrayal of
I choke on MREs.
Pound-cake provisions civilian
contractors and our NCOIC of
requisitions all beholden to a
Pangaea One World Bakery production.
I am unleavened and pursued
by a million-man march of flies.
Flitting points of my compasses point
out to me: desert robin hood is played
by the desert fox.
Needle points due north, then true north,
then at a deserted friar tuck.
The night sky, a backlit hand
Puppet. a star-dogged moon
silhouetting your hand, running over
me and absorbing my surfaces.
Copper blood and disembodied pennies
wells in Damascus where young Muslim
men serve what is clean and acquirable––
recovered coins. Buy lebin and hobez.
taste of ferrous as and copper. Upon there
retrieval—the slushing up from cisterns
in buckets this blood I
cheek a prayer,