Veteran

By Thomas Delano

Imagine waking to flash-blasts and phantom friends
blown from bits of dreams to silhouettes on the bedroom wall.
My neighbor would stay awake late to patrol
the hallway of our apartment complex. Wide-eyed and still
living, still breathing that burning dust of Fallujah,
the slow creak of the front door a rat-tat-tat
of machineguns waiting on rooftops. I only looked through
the peep-hole, afraid he might blow up if I stepped outside.
What a fool for thinking I was the one scared.

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Thomas Delano is an MFA student and composition instructor at Minnesota State University – Mankato, where he serves as a poetry editor for Blue Earth Review.

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