i had a conversation with my friend inside my head. this is how i imagined it would have gone.

the body count.

you speak,
the body count rising behind your eyes,
and i can hear the ghosts flickering behind
your haunted words. your movements
awkward and stilted, no longer the
sweet boy i remember. the war has
changed you from a boy into a man,
the worst kind of man you could ever
wish to be. you didn't want it to
steal your innocence, but the war took
it all and left nothing behind for me.

you heal your wounds as best you can, but inside,
you're as raw and bloody as the battlefield
left behind.