The war is over, yet there's an explosion in my head. It’s a deep resonance among the chop-chop-chop of helicopter blades, and shouts of the profane and the dead. I move a muscle—I’m toast. I must stay alive. I will lie here forever if that is what it takes to survive.
Low bended grasses and broken reeds anticipate the crash and clamor of the next land-mine. I crawl on a belly full of MRE and rough-roasted coffee, M16A2 my shield and savior. The war is through, and I want to sound-off the cadence of a lonely soldier, but my mouth has lost all flavor.
I stare through the patterned walls over to the Other Side, where gruesome guard dogs snap frothing jaws and wag ragged tails. A place where sinking ships form a trail of strewn carcasses, like crustacean skeletons at low tide. There’s a rule to not skip, just patter over the xylophone bones as fast as I can before the bottom falls through and the pit gapes wide.
There’s a slow beeping in my ear, and somewhere next to my arm, a cool wire constantly feeding me the ocean.
I stand blanched on the severed shore and shake my head in slow motion at a memory. A spark of reasoning, wedged somewhere between my first kiss in the park and the last cigarette before my flight.
I let go my tidal breath and manage a weak smile as the wave inside washes darker than night.
Inspired by Chevelle's song, "Bend the Bracket."