The Air Force shaved our heads, was it because of the heat of a San Antonio summer or that we’ll all look equally like fools, and easier for Sarge to maintain unit cohesiveness in his rag tag band of semi-successful Army avoiders.
Now we all wear masks and assume we all look equally foolish, knowing the virus cares nothing for cohesiveness, and normal is insignia only to dreams and at times life is shit on a shingle now.
We want our childhoods back, before the war, before the barracks and bad food, before expectations, and those few imposed could be ignored at minimal parental retribution, we want what never really existed, it is our right.
We marched and sang “Suicide is Painless”, never believed it for a moment, but now we consider it in passing as we walk down the shortening pier into the ocean of darkness.
First published in Circumference, Issue 4, June 2021
We have grown tired of counting the mind cannot deal with numbers of that magnitude, Stalin was correct, it is all statistics now, and bodies, always more bodies, never enough, always too many, by violence in the street, in the economy, in the courthouse, in the COVID ward, there are too many places now, where the dead gather, and we cannot bid them farewell, for we do not want to be counted among them, to join them, to admit that we in some way have led them into disease, into poverty, into death.
They say that some of the rings of Saturn are braided. They also say that Rapunzel’s hair was braided. I am a skeptic for when I stare at Saturn through the old binoculars I see two fuzzy astigmatic spots of light and Rapunzel has gone punk, and I see only an oversized nose ring. The sad thing is that Jupiter’s red spot is showing signs of becoming a melanoma.
It is progressing, but that should not come as a surprise to you, for they told you it would happen and you accepted that as a fact.
It is the speed at which it has progressed, much faster than you imagined, what was once clear, now vague ever more amorphous, half already effectively gone, and the other half?
I imagine what would happen, will happen when the other begins the same journey, nothing known to impede it, and how the four remaining senses might fill the abyss that the departure of sight will leave in its growing shadow.