hard to keep the words
between the lines

out there
beyond the sharp parallels
a place no
man dares

exception: you, Captain Owen
your free verse would dance
but for wariness of
gas and
mine

of sniper scope and Maxim
maximizing power of automatic fire

the bad old howitzers
trench mortars, wire to
get strung up in

they will play your body like a
broken marionette, like a
jangling guitar

hard to keep so neat and nicely
polarized, as if on parade, as if
on the perfectly thought-through
engagement cross
hairs caught you for posterity

nailed you
between the lines

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