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His Recurring Dream of Convoy Duty

As a boy, I’d stare wide-eyed as my neighbor 

whittled under a tree.  He'd fashion

crude baseball bats from wooden

blocks: I’d count the effortless pulls


of his blade, as it peeled back the skin

in long bony strips.  Now, as a man,

I’ve been imprisoned in fog, behind

a concrete wall.  My awkward arrangement:


flack-vest armor, gas-mask,

rifle, and the helmet that I always seem

to misplace.  The soldier to my left,

fires off more rounds--understands better


ways to kill, and I (sick of my own clumsy

hesitations) take my aim over the wall-

exposed to the whispers of metal swimming

past my ears.  When stuck, I never notice


their fleshy carvings- the pulverized

magnificence of my silhouette.  At times,

the soldier has informed me (always

matter-of-factly), that the upper portion


of my head is gone.  But tonight, it was the face

that my daughter painted, melting off a canvas

in red streams of watercolor, that would startle

me awake- jagged breath’d, crying.