soldier X

i might have cut my hand somewhere back there,
for there are blood tracks on the walls
and i’m quite sure we weren’t at play these past weeks,
but with you i can never be too sure;

the gashes between my ribs: were they there when this started,
or did i put them there myself?

it’s not so easy to wage a war against someone who’s always with you,
and equally hard to be a soldier in a battle you know nothing about.

betimes, we travel on uncharted territories,
your footing unsure as i lead you along through ravaged fields of feeling,
and smoking cinderblock memories–
i’m sure you smell the singe upon my skin
but you are too polite, too loving, to mention the stench.

or perhaps you’re hoping,
if i stop beside the tide pools somewhere
along the scarred shore of the ocean i am become,
if i lean over far enough–
you might be able to wash me clean.


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