#WAR: WHATS ALREADY BEEN SAID?

What can I say about war that hasn’t already been said? My experiences reflect those expressed by writer’s far more talented the me.

Even the greatest writers admit their inability to fully capture the experiences of horror, the crushing fear, the fury, the odors, screams and silence one suffers in between the disturbing peace. Like making love or the taste of fine wine, words on a page only trigger imagination and illicit a dark sympathy. Empathy without experience is nothing more than fantasy.

I do not make these claims in offense. My own empathy is a rope that over time has become a noose. Random moments are capable of producing the most unpredictable triggers. A playful child’s scream might reveal the man, laid bare beneath a shattered wall, his stomach and intestines uncoiled across the huts dirt floor. A door slamming shut behind me and a memory long suppressed plays in a loop just behind my eyes: our medic bagging a severed, yet still camouflaged soldiers leg. The smell of a rabbit and a phantom smell of burning tire and human flesh lingers for days.

We forget so much of what we see. This is true for almost everyone of us. War is no different. We can’t recall, but we never really forget. These shocking visions, buried just below the conscience, erupt into our lives like films about ghosts. They are insidious magic tricks, pictures from the most evil of theaters. None of us are immune, it’s just that some of the afflicted can overcome the inflicted. Count me as not one.

It’s like my best memories have been erased. I’m like a mixtape that’s been over recorded with the voice of the devil himself.

Where do I go from here?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heaven In The Darkness; Eternity & Hope

Maybe there is a heaven? Heaven might be the black nothing of vanished memories and endless night? Or what we make it? Anything else, no matter how charming, would certainly include these memories. These short films I live with here in this hell.

This grey would rise, following into that shining city, like pet pollution; a smog that refuses to lift, becoming more dense in that miserable afterlife, I could never end. Hell such as this would be more appropriate, in its eternal pit of serpent and flame.

Behind these eyes are the fires that portend to reflect my pain. We lost you five years and two months ago today. I think about us and try to imagine you helping to douse all that’s enflamed today. It could be little more than a fantasy, you discovering a way through the cracks to save me from myself? I might have lost you anyway? I understand that. But at least the world would be a better place with you remaining in it.

I miss the way people would look at you; stare at you even, so striking, like a beautiful crash, you’d attract angular vision. Even though I tried never to show it and you never said it out loud, you liked the innocent way I could get jealous. Little secrets we couldn’t always hide though we tried. I never really believed I was good enough for you, though you never provided me reason to doubt it.

Sometimes I imagine you’re going to read this and write accordingly. It’s the rock of grace revealing an inner truth. It’s that hope you inspire. It’s that impossible dream reflecting upon a lake in motion.

If you were with us still yet, perhaps, beyond my grip, I’d be discontent. Your soul was my apex of promise, your loss, the final crushing blow. Be well in the darkness, my love, where the past has no future, no present, no hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Our Love Has No Beginning, My Hate Has No End. #loveletter #atonement

If you could send me even the smallest clue, I’d give it my all and everything to hang on and be true. Are you out there somewhere in the aether, some greater dimension? Are you a part of the universe, or have pieces of you shattered and scattered, adrift on a plane without direction or meaning? If all that is left are the tiniest of pieces, then how is it that a complete picture of you dances above, so calmly, so frantic, upon the darkest of night? Are you there, is it you, or a brutal allusion cast upon my tomorrow? I lie asleep; am I only watching nightmares that loop? Are we all endlessly waiting? 

You know, don’t you? You remember the pledge we made, that morning, under a vanishing rainbow? You claimed we could be copies of ourselves for eternity, tattoos upon the skin of our ancestors broken, bleached bones.

Funny, I can still recite so many of our ridiculous vows, even after all this time. Even after your final climb, alone, through the atmosphere. I can’t let them go, like I can’t hold on. So I stand here alone, on this stormy shore, hoping a message will wash up on the land that shakes. It is forever rolling, shaking over the undertow. 

Is this battle I’m waging worse than the wars I fought so far from here? Would you even know me still, under the skin and in spite of these scars that still bleed and ooze? Would you be the one to save me, or would I bleed out, cold and shivering in the understanding shade of your shadow?

Guess I’ll never know? Not guess, not me, my love; Not anymore.

So wherever you might be singing tonight, in sparkling pieces or whole, I pray so hard for your comfort and reduce the rest of my gratitude for a pocket to keep alive, but small.

They say atoms can entangle. Those that have combined, have collided with enough force to connect. It’s a mystery of science, so it seems, the spooky motions in perfect unison over distances equal to the age of the stars. Equal to the distance of infinity. So much we cannot comprehend my dear. My beloved.

These little morsels of atomic mystery and doubt and theory: they burn so hot within me sometimes. I could never completely let you go when so much is still misunderstood. None of us live in this place forever. They can’t keep me here.

Please don’t be angry with me or chastise me… “you fool, quit wasting your time.” Funny thing, there is no time remaining, only space offering the faintest of hopes. You’re still out there, I can really feel it; or at least synapses flash now and then, gritting my teeth, driving me on through the storm.

You’d be proud of my service to duty, of that I am certain. It’s all I ever wanted you know; to be tested and make it through the cauldron and back to you. Alas, I scrambled and toiled and killed and cried and burned and hurt and suffered the eternal longing, only to lose you at the end.

Like a commandment broken, I was atoned of that beyond my control, the ultimate sacrifice, you. That feels so self-centered, does it sound so? Nevertheless, I judge myself responsible for thus, reckoning and pain that creeps along beside me, like the bloody servant of Job.

All I ever wanted was us, and I sacrificed that for the gravest of sin. Two wrongs cannot make it right. There is no other way to live day-to-day with this smell of death upon my hands.

But am I really living? Are you really dead? Are you gone? Maybe this is all upside down and I cannot even see what I truly am? That I’m the one in hell? Are you still at home while I burn in this fire, suffering close to silently, nearer and nearer the final destination I scrape along, prolonging the destiny of ashes cemented in black back when?

If this is hell, this is where I am.  If this is life, where do I begin? If this is death, how will it end?

I can almost taste you, my love. I can almost touch you, touch me. I miss you always. I miss you already.