little corner of England (11)
Nov 17, 2011
words, just words. no poetry in this. the final kiss. and you, everytime I turn. around. you. your face suntanned, sunburned, sunfucked (as you’d say), an orange-brown. the colour of crystals you add to skunky camelbak water so you can swallow it down. orangy-brown the colour of Afghan sundown. white racoon mask where your ballistics kept the sun out. your hair shaved.
yesterday, I rode my bike to town. to pick up food—a fat chicken, wild rice, purple flowering broccoli—food to make a nice birthday feast for a friend from Turkey, far, far from home. rainpants, raincoat, my brown cap pinned with the Patricia crown he gave me, keeping the rain from me. I turned around. there you were. so thin. so goddamn young. still wearing your ISAF badge velcro’ed to your sleeve.
home. the boys are home. corralled in the cathedral. a place they’d normally only ever be for weddings or funerals. some kind of ceremony. another type of ritual to try and bring them back I guess.
last time I saw you you ran. late spring it was. down the station platform. you grasped your ruck, your helmet, wore your ceramic plates, ran like a wild Afghan dog being shot at. you took the stairs two at a time, across the bridge over the tracks. you ran to where? from where? I thought at the time. but now I know.
yesterday it was you. it was you kneeling in cathedral pews. wearing your tans, just like last spring, so incongruously, when you stuck out like a desert rose in all the rainy English green.
or was it you I saw? today.
or did you even make it