The neighbor came over today to see me.

Standing in our foyer talking about the cable box

We share, channels spliced between two condos

And our television screens mounted on both sides

Of the same wall, saying he is disconnected again.

And when I tell him you will be home in one month,

He smiles and says that was quick.

And as I watch him walk away, with a tennis racket hanging

From his shoulder just like a machine gun hangs from yours,

I know that he doesn’t know anything.

He doesn’t know how long a year is, how connections are lost,

Or how this is our third deployment now, and how each one,

Each one is a body of water, and each one stretches farther

Than the last, how our time on land in between keeps shrinking

And how I am always trying not to drown.

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