Unlike Him You Will Live Another Day

Your heart beats across the sea, the mountains, the desert

Softly

You’re in a shitty African hospital, with wet, moldy walls or is it bombed out Bosnia … no, it’s somewhere on a bad road, and you are hurt and have lost track of time

You make it out of bed and throw up on the floor, lean against the wall, you are dry and notice somebody in the hall looking at you

His face is like a mask

He walks away with a sheet covering his body

You think it must be Halloween

Then you leave your room and see a light at the end of the hall

You walk in the dark, a candle or two around, and the place is quiet

The night is hiding from the war

At the end of the hall there is a room and you look inside and see a new friend, a companion in this fucked up place

He raises his head and his eyes light up

You are hope for him, a way to get better, a conversation about something peaceful

You touch his arm, he’s burning up, and he mutters backward words, echos in a thin vessel

You see things in his face … you see his parents, a town, a girl, a different life and they are in the very back of his eyes, living in soft light, like the softness of your heart, and it is all there at the back of his eyes, and you know he is never going to get out of bed

You are hollow, tired, an old man beating his fists against the wall

You walk back to your room, step in your vomit, climb into bed, and you dream, as if you were someplace else and things are soft, grey oatmeal, and you fall into the soft beat of your heart and the soft breathing of the guy down the hall, and in its own way, the dream is timeless, formless, and unlike him, you will live another day

4 thoughts on “Unlike Him You Will Live Another Day

  1. As always Duke, strong visceral images , this time highlighting something tragic in getting old which I can most certainly identify with…and the war.

    Liked by 1 person

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