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The unarmored
shoes she dons
leave space in the toe
for a soul. A phantom
hanging on her thigh
slips past
the mind’s

Circles she’s in
wheel slowly.
She cracks jokes that go over
like lead.
The flag once borne
on a shoulder
now fatigues a frame
by her bed.

Eyes that once
were beside
watch her recede
into light; pills
the VA prescribed
count down
like rounds
in a fight.