We are awake

Still and

Sitting in the dark

Of our living room,

Talking about it


About getting out or staying in,

In the military,

How we are in the military

And I want to get out.

And we are sitting on our couch,

Which is heavy and laying across

The room like a bone,

A leg bone,

The femur,

How it is the strongest bone in the

Human body,

And my husband is getting up,

Standing now,

Pacing the floor,

And I can barely see him

In the dark,

How our house is dark or

The air looks like hanging

Static, how it is gray like


And my husband is saying,

Saying the benefit outweighs the risk,

And I am half

Listening to him,

Half watching his

Hands move

Through the air like

He is holding grenades,

Two M67 grenades,

The kind that soldiers

Carry when they go to


And he is talking about

Deployment and probability,

Or statistics, the likelihood,

And his words are

Grenades, flying across

The length of the room,

Our conversation, or

The distance between us,

How his words land,

How there is a delay,

Those four seconds

Before they explode,

Fragment and shatter,

Because I know,

I know he will not get


This is the bone of us.


How I am trying to

Tell him that the risk

Is him going,

Going to war


Going to a country where

He can get killed, blown up,

His head cut off with a knife

On video,

How he can come home

Without legs,

His arms, half of his face,

A swollen brain,

How going means goodbye,

Saying goodbye to them,


Our two sons, standing in

A doorway and telling them

I will be back,

When it may not be true, how

Going means leaving,


Leaving again,

Again, I say,

My word meaning nothing

Maybe, just a shell, remnant,

A remnant of this war that

Stretches across us, across

All of us, like skin,

And we have talked about it before,

Too many times, my husband says,


He touches me,

My face and my

Shoulder and

Walks away,

His hands empty now,

And I go to the window,

Which is wet from

Condensation and

Where the darkness is

Pooling, there,

Outside, how

It is pushing against

The window and me

Like a heart,

How the world is

A heart, and I am

Pushing my face against it,

The window, this world,

That heart,

And when I pull away,

My hair is matted against

My head

Like blood.

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