Happy Halloween! One Last Poem

The Wounded Man

The night was cold. Steam rose in little curls
From his many wounds. He walked along
The side of a highway, praying some old
Trucker would stop for him, see his wounds,
And realize his obligation to a wounded man.

But no trucks came. Nobody came. It was late
And the world was asleep. A soupy fog hovered
Above the ground, close but not quite touching.
The farther he walked, the more the wounded man
Thought about the ocean, his skin clammier, chewier,
More squid-like with each passing mile.

He didn’t blame anybody, though. He’d asked for this.
He’d asked to go to war, to run with the monsters
And feel the moonlight on his face while he wounded
Other men and watched steam rise from their wounds.
What he didn’t like (if he could be said to still have opinions,
In his condition) was that it was his luck to be the last man
Standing, chosen to die alone on some godforsaken road.

But he kept walking. And walking. Because the wounded man
Knew that the next time he laid down the hovering fog would
Grasp him in its hand and carry him off to a darker night.


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