The rocket flashes dazzled us in that darkness,
before the storm, but when the gunfire rang out,
only focus remained.
My mind became blank,
Till the beat of my heart ceased in intervals like a pendulum striking the edges the instant that trigger retreated beyond the point of no return.
The pressure pulsing backward was clockwork in its repetition until the radios on every night chimed "All Clear".
Those Chinooks that flew us home in the cloudless sky, had been the ambulances our friends had died in just hours before, and when the adrenaline had faded my heart ached with regret while the screams in my head battered my brain until those moments of heart stopping clarity became a past life I wish I'd never lived.
They said the battles in the field make martyrs but I left my soul on the end of a scope in a desert where I put children to rest for the mistake of following their fathers words.
Their faces are burned in the back of my eyelids stinging my mind like fire ants tunneling through the channels of my veins.
I walked the thirty paces from the truck bed to the cliffs edge where the rocks rose from the sand like a phoenix... and when that pendulum struck silence and my heart fell still all I thought was how my homeland had become my battlefield