unnamed staff sergeant sits on overturned
bucket digs absent through dusty pockets,
tiny bits of mountain-rock trapped beneath
fingernails and thousand fold paths of dirt
grained inside of fisted palm-
all spaces require moment of quiet, just
whirlwind proof and hard-ceramic glazed
beneath endless sun. mountains burst upward
of dreaming, no color except the sky and
that's the same everywhere.
shorn hair. determined delicate spread of ink
over right arm, pattern somehow tender and commonplace;
speaks in directives. back-home dreams crop up
sometimes in quiet nights, advancement and pay grades.
not important yet, but waiting. there is an end to everything.
watches the men come carry out pizza and
coke, laughing above mechanic whine-
quit smoking in basic.
wants one anyway.