Clive Matson writes from an itch in his body
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BE A SOLDIER


Be a soldier! Be strong 
as you are this second.
                                     Scope the next place 
your foot lands and push with toes, 
balance in-motion weight to 
                                              even poise. 
Keep focus eye-level and peripheral.  

Always you've been a soldier.

The sky clears of doubt and clouds  
drop away. Scan the arena: war 
                                       the totality. 

Visible because you're about to die.
Visible because my hip's curve 
ramps into energy-crammed worlds. 
Visible because the jigsaw uncamouflaged.

Be a soldier. 
                     At these words you untangle. 
That battle's lost, that one partially won, 
these two pending, another 
                                            entering the field.

You cannot know what will land 
in your soul's garden and crush
any tangerine rose, scatter any lily petals 
strewn white along muddy walkways.

You are alone
                        and no one will help you,
the outcome's in other hands. 
Our battles are always with us. 
You have arms to grapple with. 
You must do dangerous things. 

Avoid steel blades on long handles wielded 
by parades of scythe people,  
                                               abandon strategies 
blurred with glamor, dig out psychic shrapnel. 

Do the next thing.
Speak your truth. 
Buddha up for the non-response.
Armor up for reprisals.
Take care of yourself.

The universe plays your spine like a 
viola and the strings' tension varies
with what's outside. 
                                 Everything subsumes 

into this moment's chord and after the bow 
reaches the end of its stroke 
the echo of the present fills the silence.

Something will happen 
and everything will change.

Seven virgins in the next world 
whisper "I want you" 
                                  and in this world my thighs 
surround and morph into the soft stickiness 
that brings honey to your whistle.

                                           You think this will happen
even though you don't think 
this will happen. 

                            Be a soldier. 
An empty horizon meets the eye. The field's clear

and you slip half-speed into a vibrating stream
that flows slowly through a green landscape 
where vines hang on a trellis and orange flowers 
trail upside-down like trumpets.

A window obloid shows walkways, 
buildings, trees in
                              eerie reds
and something moves across a parking lot.

Your crosshair eyes track figures, a squadron 
in gray-green
                       takes cover and approaches.
One crouches while another sprints.
They change roles and the others close.
Approach and take cover.
                                  
Hey!
On alert!
Weapons!