Marching we eat,
licking our fingers,
blood and spots of spattered soil,
screaming still ringing in our ears.
We have leveled a city of so-called angels.
Sky clearing of thunder clouds and darkness,
meeting the morning birds chirping,
confused in their deafness, feathers mustered,
sleepless eyes watching our endless line of troops,
a giant gray snake slithering over a rump of country.
Our faces the same as grains of sand
broken down and polished by the tides of the sea.
We know the truth of ourselves, keeping it
a white comet in our black dreams.
Day always slapping us into the numbness of our training,
giving up our free will for a free ride of excuses.
Some of us talk in the stare of our eyes.
All blink and eventually turn away.
Tomorrow we attack again.
Shaking a city down.
Death rides a horse with bulging eyes,
clatter of hoofs waking the innocent.
Old songs in the once silence,
drifting with the wind across their bones.
Somewhere back on a road of craters,
I'm a little boy playing in a rut of rain,
bombs dropping in the distance,
my father calling me out to take a look
down the road at my coming future....
Stephen Jarrell Williams was born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to native Texans. He has lived most of his life in California. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications. He loves to write, listen to his music, and dance late into the night.