It is nine a.m. and I am thinking about what they told me:
From the Zeppelins it looks like
a tremendous dragon raked his claws across this countryside.
It is the month of November, and I am reflecting:
It is different here,
There are those siren songs:
screaming duets told by the artillary shells
and their intended targets
Two hours to go. But:
It is different here.
A boquet of every sort of foulness
the tang of the poison gasses
the pools where blood and vomit form the broth of a shit stew:
complimented by the animal naked stupidities:
11/11, eleven o’clock. How clever:
How shall I catalogue them all?
There are men far away deaf dumb and blind
There is us here following the orders
There is me here following the orders
They thought long and hard about it, an easy way to remember the time to avoid the confusion.
I wait for the whistle and throw on the gas mask
I take my stance and tuck my rifle into that forever bruised space above my hip
I try to kill them before they can kill me.
I trample my dead friends where they form a bridge over the barbed wire
I celebrate the camaraderie of the warrior now.
We will pull our bayonets out of our opponents’ guts
but We won’t wipe off the blades on our filthy pants legs
We won’t ignore the chunks of unspeakably-colored flesh that fall by our battered boots
We’ll turn around together
We will walk back to our homes
Broken, all of us broken
the land broken and our hearts broken
But not in vain!
This was, after all
to end all wars.