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Four Years War Fought Hard

My mad dogs are out tonight.
Rage grows in the widened sky,
carrying a drift of fog,
a violence in the valley.
Dishes decorate our room 
thirty-ought-six shells left
dead like horses after war.
Hold that raggedy doll tight,
its blinking eyes cannot weep,
its torn dress means everything
to you  four years war fought hard.

I tried to leave the hard booze
behind for you but poison
is tough as love to give up.
Near the front, some skin was scratched.
In the barracks, admirals
rolled in restless sleep, thinking
of dead lost to a small kiss
deep in bedsheets, in between
the pillow's mountainous climb
to light sleep and a victory
full of shellshocked casualties.

Words can be perfect weapons.
Expressions kill. After four
years, my suicide of booze,
my chance to leave war behind
failed in retreat. My armor
and bravery gone, I left
the battlefield for the long
wait of grave, no war but war
of calendars. My resign
slipped under your door was rage
but rage without the bite of teeth.

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