The wind has shifted
Sounds of battle have moved down the line
But here
Here in this one moment
One instant of aftermath
I look around

Hands are outstretched
Mouths agape
Pain etched faces glancing blindly around
There are no enemies
There are no friends

Uniforms are covered in blood,
Gore
Mud
Sweat
Tears
Vomit
Too ensconced in the visage of battle to be identified

Neither friend nor foe exist anymore
I do not recognize the person sprawled next to me
Arm twisted behind him, eyes roving for help
Looking for someone,
Anyone,
Life

The carnage has been done
Men- families- obliterated in one fell swoop
One breath
And then another
Sleep tugs at me enticingly

With every new intake of air
My eyes carry the weight of the world
My eyelashes rush to sweep down
A thin veil against the threat of reality
Trying to protect innocence lost
Not in the throes of battle
Rather in forgetting the glorified cause
Fighting for sheer self-preservation
And survival instead