I Was There

I Was There
Photo by Sarah (copied from Flickr)

Photo by Sarah (copied from Flickr)

I was there.

Cutting a worn figure
with a Players hanging
from my slack charred lips
waiting for my helmet to be penetrated
by a single,
bolt of lightning.

I was there.
Holding onto my best friend,
three foot long
and constantly jamming
as I caressed it furiously,
anxious that our next touch wouldn’t be our last.
I should have
ditched her,
but I couldn’t,
there was just nothing else.

I was there.
Wiping tears from a shattered face,
its mud casing smeared
by the flowing river of regret
that ran from my eyes as I recalled
my eagerness for King and Country,
when all that was obliged
was to stay in school.

I was there.
Grabbing at a mask and forcing it
onto the man next to me.
It doesn’t do to make friends
because as the toxic air around fills gasping lungs
you’ll eventually see their lungs bellow,
in your hands,
or they yours.

I was there.
Looking at her picture,
knowing that she would be true
because every wretch who could sweet talk her to a lie
was next to me.
My brothers in bayonet
depriving her of her satisfaction
through self-incarceration in a field
as far away from a morning kiss as can be known.

I was there.
In the black and white footage,
of those men,
all dead now
and only known to you as mathematics.

But we do hope you remember that

we were there.

Dominic Stevenson is an English-born writer with his roots in the post-industrial north of England. His aim is to take part in the global discussions surrounding societal, gender, sexual and educational equality. His poetry and short stories have been published in a range of print and online publications including Poetry and Paint, Forward Poetry, The Cadaverine and Spontaneity Arts Journal. His first collection, The Northern Line, is due out in April 2015.

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