We who have each other’s backs

Here’s a little thing I wrote this morning, a silly-sweet ode to my friends. To friendship, I suppose. (maybe fiendship, haha.)

Comrades in arms

We’re a cartoon parade
a platoon
volatile and jolly.
A second line, a peanut gallery
sporting rotten things—
vim and vitriol,
endless collaborations
of mockery and
gentle mean-spiritedness.
A swirling whirl,
bright splinters and barbs;
elaborate scenarios
that populate and escalate
’til we start to believe
and reference—
like realities, histories.
So clever,
our double-edged laughter.
Ballistics and armor;
one stop shop.

Nooks and crannies,
foxholes fill with casualties.
We toss grenades
and broken glass
to make us squeal,
delighted.
No longer aware
what we were tearing
down, or why—
strangers overhearing
think us bloodthirsty and awful,
and we are– but
not in the ways they think.
Deadly fictions, yet soft.
Inflated and flocked.
Anyway they’re for us, not you
so fuck off.

When it gets late
our pack thins to a pair.
We sit in the glow of one lamp.
Ceasefire;
that other mode,
the one where you feel–
lowers the wick
so you can hear better,
listen closer.
The laughter
(our secret language)
is a bond—
but more important
are the pebbles
we remove
from each other’s boots,
when the killing’s done
and the blood is drying on our blades.

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2 thoughts on “We who have each other’s backs

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