Flashback by Alan Catlin

“I beat the bottle but
I can’t beat the war”
after an acrylic on canvas
by Ron Mann

30 years after
the fact a lawnmower
two yards over
backfires and just
like that I’m back
in-country sucking
in lawn chemicals
instead of air,
all that fertilizer
for a mind on a
perpetual edge
recalling an agent
oranged dawn that
colors all the jungle
a dark unnatural
light like the hand
of death pressing down
the sharp, bladed
grass next to a
recently roto-tilled
garden plot, that
graveyard for lost
crops, plowed under
plants, dead soldiers
composted a dark,
rich loam thick with
earth worms fattened on
the rotting skins
of the dead

Alan Catlin
Alan Catlin is the poetry editor of misfitmagazine.net. His latest books of poetry are American Odyssey from Future Cycle and Last Man Standing from Lummox Press
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