Toy Soldier

            Victoria Gudino

Swollen eyes like the blue                                                                                                     underbelly of a bloated body 

from some man or other, some country or other.                                                                               His soldier hands have the same Jitterbug tempo

as the axels in his brain. Bourbon                                                                                                      on his chapped lips and

soggy earth beneath his boots.                                                                                                          The floors are littered with dented beer cans 

and microwavable trays of week­-old food.                                                                                         The constant TV static wheezes.

Waves of battlefield fever drench his shirt,                                                                                        his arms break into form and

the hilt of his rifle sleeps on his shoulder.
He doesn’t know what sleep is, but

what it can do: the bombs of
the microwave roar in his ears  

and the Jitterbug tempo sends raging flares
into the belly of his eyes,

the trigger of his finger thrums
in patterns and scattered trays are

mounds of soiled bodies. 
Bourbon in the glass,  

axels of his brain. Land mines
in the clockwork of his mind.