The Trenches



Marching through familiar trenches, laden in the capital of my gains under foot, while restless mud hangs at the clutches. Steeped in iron and mettle, gravel and soot marks my weathered skin, a plaster that deigns to relieve. Surrender to the shells as a hopeless soul, mustard gas choking the lungs.

Last of the lost and guarding the tower, complacent and flagrant in my disregard of the power. Pierced through the veil and brought to unconquerable heel, a rupturing bayonet caught me asleep at the wheel. From the wall to a floor, I fell to a rest. Unearned though repressed, a cold comfort to thaw.

In that quiet repose I saw myself at the start when the polish of brass encountered no errant assault. The plains bearing scars depicted an illusion of threat but a tempting advance as a man half-possessed. The soil spoke no glory in the faded light until the cries were all that married the harrowing sight.

The reckoning is swift and I wasn’t prepared to have my skeletal faith brace disrepair, but the cracks mounted fast and the tremulous dawn, incited vultures to warn us that our carcass would spoil. I sullied myself with the last gasp of air, demanded more from the earth as the grasp of a tear, unloaded hope in a chamber, held from a grip drenched in fear.

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