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  • Brian M Winningham

Combat Jump

Ensconced in a bubble of gear and weapons in the belly of our courser,

Roaring and bucking across the sky on clouds of metal and smoke.

Creaks and pops and hammer blows ringing out like anvils into your core.

Feet firmly planted, body rocking and swaying like a corpse in a gale.

Moving up now. Starting. Stopping. Hurrying. Stooping. Waiting forever and longer.

Finally forward… as though pushing uphill through a membrane of glue

Seeing the small sliver of gray against the blacker black, a sudden flash and

We lean forward into the hurricane and jump into the storm.

Jerked suddenly back into the farcical safety of the “BIG SKY”

The instant biting pain in your groin the only way to know you still live;

Everything else, both body and mind stuck wading through primordial mud.

Then it dawns just how personal it all is. They mean to end YOU.

Little green and red glowing hornets streaming out from murder nests,

Slowly rising in arcs but gaining speed, going faster and faster as our paths converge

zip – pop ~ zzziipp – pop ~ zzziiippp – pop ~ zzziiiPPP – POP ~ ZZZIIIPPPP – POP

The lucky ones heard every pop, but the best of us heard nothing ever again.

Feet/Ass/Head. Landing hard enough to leave imprints in the asphalt.

Lying on your back wondering if anything important got broken: metal or bone?

The rope of lights flashing so close you can feel the heat until it finally shifts away.

Pull the gear in, Get it together. The easy part is over. Time to get to work.

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