Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 20, August 2012)

It’s in the fault where I first encounter my apparition. The soldier appears at a remote sentry near the river, dripping wet, shivering, and clad in nothing but his headgear. He appears shaken, the light of worlds in his eyes, genuine in every way, tho still able to walk it off. The soldier appears confused, if not demented, while bearing in his arms my own half-dressed and lifeless form. He appears to have been shot by security forces, his head shaven and with a slight beard, wearing traditional gray, loose fitting Afghan salwar kameez clothing. Dressed up in an orange jumper and green anorak, the soldier appears with his hands tied, legs spread eagle. He appears to have been trussed, but he’s helpful at first, his limbs sun burnt and mighty, his thighs like great military engines capable of wielding the heavy weapons themselves. Like a comic strip character, the soldier appears and reappears, again and again, his features amplified and distorted like those of the capitalist, the worker, the terrorist, his head shaven, with a slight beard, wearing nothing at all but a bit of traditional loose fitting camouflage, his particularity being no more than a type, unclad and yielding, nothing but his headgear, lasers coming from his eyes, sublime music from his core. Despite being held at gunpoint with his hands tied, trussed and moaning, he appears to be healthy, no trace of the fabled powders in his stool. He can barely contain my rage, his fear, this love. He has a hard time remaining erect, and no longer comes at all. Again and again, he appears and reappears, shaken, capable, genuine, confused, sun burnt and mighty thighs, generator of magnificent light in which I find myself distracted, my head buried in his crotch, or his in mine, a sentence from which we might never emerge. He appears to sense me in a similar state and, even tho I’m now lodged in a safe house down the road, far from the current unrest, I’ve been made pregnant with his child. There’s no evidence at all, nothing but a feeling in a limb I can’t locate, an organ I can’t name, but the soldier appears to want me, or rather, he appears to sense how we’re both in the same condition, taken aboard the same flight, and I immediately love him for this reflection of my hollow impression, love him as myself, a song I can’t sing without singing his.1