I walked high bridge at Derryside and eyed the soldiers eyeing me.
Meant for breasts comfortably slight in sweaters, their eyes
winged past my neutral self and tunneled down to last night’s
bivouac, tall grass matted down under the miraculous pairing,
the hard swallow walking to camp afterward, tough woolens tighter
on them than sheep had worn.
Ordnance doesn’t count lifted skirts, doesn’t know where a hem begins
or where it ends, how dry a throat, how wet an eye, what law becomes
inserted between soft children. Soldiers, in field work, at love,
too soon from mother’s kitchen wares and half admonishment from sires
who once felt the stitching become elastic in country skirts, look down
their sights at sweater’s mounds, proud legs, square teeth lost in smiles
bright as zero degrees, green stoves in cottages whose hair is braid-worn.
Derryside is never quiet or dark; it has fire and young appetites and hands,
the field ache of loins, front seat disasters, doorways away from streetlights,
the pros and cons of young energies wondering if the touch is real, is legal,
if a mortal sin becomes a sure-fire hell-fire trip.
Peace has disparities, hate and love mix all the axioms and adages, call to waste
the wasted hearts, a field pressed for a moment of never- ending love, an erect
boy in uniform, a girl planning her confessional, just as moons empty across fields,
stone walls disappear at boundaries, a myth thinks up another gunshot.