Submitted Date 08/17/2022

A man paces outside my bedroom door

not a plodding stomping ambulation

oh no

these are the softly lowered footsteps of

the cat you see, he hunts a version of himself that vanished while he wiped an eyebrow off of his face less than two minutes forty-five seconds on base because love her madly didn't even have time to finish before a PFC with the accent of Appalachia ate a sniper's bullet for breakfast and just threw up everything on his crisp green . Even eyebrows.


Murmured discourse of battles gone

flow under my door like whispersmoke

Doc Tho, on alert, of course it's insane it's

The Nam, overrun, KIA MIA POW TOD

a hundred acronyms written in olive drab


it doesn't scare me now

I peeked last week

as he froze I froze heart hammering

but I instantly knew

I was safe if only

I don't enter Viet Fucking Livingroom



Back into my bed I climb

he'll be quiet and somber in the morning

I'll awaken before everyone else

smiling as I walk into last night's war zone

and climb into his lap on his old recliner

he'll startle like an electric shock

heat lightning in bloodshot vigilance

then fold his arm around me


the house is silent but for the sound of cool air flowing through aluminum arteries

a starling sings needle needle threedle nee

and though I am small in Viet Living Room

I feel invincible in the warrior's arms

until my sister cries


Brady S BowenI like pretty words.


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