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"Troubled veteran"
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We sit here as one, just myself and my gun,
in a state of confusion and doubt –
alone in my lair, in profound disrepair.
with no obvious way to get out.

No windows, no doors, and no carpeted floors,
not a picture that hangs on the wall –
no map to express any written address
and no phone with a number to call.

A place that’s impure, that’s so dark and obscure,
where no cognizant thoughts are consigned –
this place I enlist doesn’t really exist,
except in the folds of my mind.

I can’t quite explain what goes on in my brain,
why I’m weak and unable to move,
there once was a day when I wasn’t this way –
there was nothing I needed to prove.

I think of the times I was on the front lines,
when bullets and bombs filled the air –
the terror of doubt, bodies scattered about,
all the hopelessness, pain, and despair.

I tasted the brains of my best buddy James
when his face met the force of a round –
drenched in his spray from just inches away,
with the rest strewn about on the ground.

It wasn’t my time, so I left him behind –
was a choice that will haunt me for life,
an action I chose, that I failed to disclose
when I authored the note to his wife.

Now that I’m back, every panic attack
feels worse than the others before,
and I haven’t a clue what I’m liable to do
when my thoughts take me back to the war.

They gave me a med for the sounds in my head,
but it didn’t work out like they planned,
a curative brew that’s designed to subdue
these emotions I don’t understand.

Decisions I make and the actions I take
I can no longer make it on my own –
I harbor a host, a diaphanous ghost,
with a presence that’s heard – never shown.

There’s no need to wait, I’ve acknowledged my fate
and I know what I’m destined to do,
to give a command to the tool in my hand –
I’ll be gone in a second or two.

I’m leaving this note – if you read what I wrote,
then you’ll know why I’m leaving this way,
it ought to be clear, I don’t want to be here –
I can’t take it – I’m leaving today.

So, after it all, carve my name on the wall,
next to James, Crazy Paulie, and Boone,
and every last friend that I lost in the end,
tell them all I’ll be seeing them soon.

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