I knew it was wrong
but the allure in the starling sky
that spring evening was overpowering –
the same way the scent of a vaseful of flowers
in a small room can clog the throat
with their decadence;
so out I went for a stroll

It wasn’t long
before a military boot stamped out the back of my knee –
I went down
like a deckchair in a beach breeze
of course, and bit
the kerb like I’d never been so hungry
for the taste of concrete

The muzzle
of the automatic rifle was pleasantly cool
behind my ear, contrast to the hot
red gushing out my mouth
like a busted dam,
and I looked back fondly, remembering
the old war metaphors
rumbling out like rusted tanks,
years ago now,
as we stood together
a united front
in battle
against invisible enemies.

A time before I felt so safe.