Unshaven Shell by Connor Brunson

Imagine
battalion of one
a solidary soldier on future museum grounds
black steel
cannon

anticipation

Breath slides unsteady
curling vapors on the night sky
lip-reading the barrel of smoldering artillery

anxious

Finger-fuses dissolve brightly into cavern
regress to orange light
miniature ash-red sunsets
crickets quiet

silence

Mouth hangs open
longing for the graveled shell
of collected memory
to soar from depths
grasping for breath
the unshaven charge
reminds me of you

(explosion)
desperately reaching for universe
straining for flight
stuttering uncertain
it rises in abandon
“HOPE” raggedly etched
on the sick-yellow side
at apex,
the shell hangs dangling
loses in climactic victory
all sad hope of war
all desire for conquest
you only float
questioning the physics of this situation

Descent begins in
5
4
3
2
God
why
1
Go
in time to find the ground a home
a crater, peace
scorches, growth marks on a white-washed doorframe reading:

“Growth is but a tumor
Ambition, a disease
Fly by feathers, waxen-brave
slip slowly to the sea

My son
he was a bullet
chamber-locked and ashen-grey
I wake with powder on my hands
and, quiet, pass away”