The Land

Attrition and all its friends
stuck pencils with no lead as spikes
in my front yard.
Similar to Tantalus’s low-hanging fruit branch,
or the Lover,
out of reach and out of time.


And now I’m sucking down these cigarettes
because there’s no water: the stream turned to blood,
and the village was frisked by soldiers
who only claim to understand what
(or who)
they fight for.


And then my lighter ran empty,
and the smoke spun the light.
I see how I was before,
and she,
my albatross.


But Love, this war’s got you mad:
a K-Bar in your teeth,
iron sights trained on the enemy
(your enemy),
the trees, the mountains, the underbrush,
the Land on which you stood.
And hell, you’re wearing all these boys’ tongues now!
Did they get close enough for you to wear them?
And when they did, did you?
Until you dug tunnels in their heads?
Until they had no more war left to give you?


I was a soldier for you,
I shot myself in the foot to find my way home.
But now I hope to become the Land,
the trees, the mountains, the underbrush,
where you are my enemy
(the only enemy),
and my vines will use you and all your tongues
for bedrock, for thickened bark, for tombstones.


For I am the Land, and you will not starve me.
I will wait,
watch you decay
until we are one.

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