Finger Painting In Blood

Somewhere in the darkness

A former soldier, if such a thing

Woke to glacier sweat sheets around him


A slight girl pressed against his bedside--

Bleached body of a nut brown orphan

Buried under layered grimy dirt


She murmured her sobs in a tongue

That came from a well in her throat,

Opening softly her leathered mouth


Then she, with desert baby hands,

Picked the flesh off the soldier’s ribs;

He cried for what he could not give


Yet she was starving, always would be,

Wide-eyed, she returned swollen to beg

A young veteran’s conscience for more


His wife knew not of the nightly feast

Until two years, her feet on his grave

Scrawled last words burrowing in her lapel


Flowers she would place on his fresh dirt

Would wither in three days and blow up

In the sky, exhaling war’s sorrows


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