She is Iwo Jima

She is Iwo Jima

She is Iwo Jima
Men like myself
Hoped to survive
Make it to the end

To plant the flag
Amidst the raging storm
To make a stake
Never mind the shells

But I broke myself on her slopes
Remember me
My bones bleached white
If they remain at all

The wooden cross
That marked my shallow grave
Long ago disappeared
Eaten by time and termites too

But where would I rather be
There’s no comfort anywhere
There’s no going home
Sing a dirge for the man that was

The desire for glory
The ache for her love
Trumps all reasoning
I – will – never – leave

The endless rain
Brings mud and despair
Yet even on those dark slopes
I look up at the skies in hope

Is God smiling, or shaking his head
Braver men found their match
Some went home broken
The rest became dreams

These tired legs – these tattered boots
These grip-less fingers – these unseeing eyes
These knots in my belly
This hunger in my soul

29,000 ghosts call her home
The sands red with their blood
She won’t be taken lightly
No, not her body, and not her soul

When she’s good and ready
The rains will stop
The sun will shine
She will give herself to whom she wills

She is Iwo Jima
Win the battle lose the war
Lose the battle win the war
Nothing can save me now

I will lay me down
The boat is burnt
There’s no escape
I embrace my fate

I take my place among many
Broken on her shores
Vague memories
Beyond redemption

She is Iwo Jima

07-June-2015. Hawaii.