This Cursèd Thunder

THIS CURSÈD THUNDER                   

IT COMES. Behold the thunder of its hooves!
Enkidu is the Bull of Heaven’s bane.
Lo, he shall come no more to lands he loves.
That man, half-beast, is lost to endless pain.
The ache of war endures. The wyrm that moves
In us who slay, once born, cannot be slain.
Till Uruk falls, and Earth is torn asunder,
Our fate is graven in this cursèd thunder.

Cain lob’d a chuckie at his brither’s heid,
An’ fae that day tae this, a thread o’ silk
Waes weft atwixt the livin’ an’ the deid.
This is nae steid for cowards o’ mine ilk.
Culloden’s muir, sae silent ye cuid heed
The wind amang the broom, now roars. The wilk
Upon the Firth, shook fae his shell in wonder,
Maun laith the guns, an’ spite this cursèd thunder.

Day twenty-seven: cold. No sun to see.
I’d kill the batman for a cigarette.
I’m sick to death of cold Maconochie.
There is no part of me that is not wet.
The weather, that’s the thing: I guarantee
That no man ever starved in this trench yet—
But coldness kills. We shiver, wait, and wonder.
This bloody rain. God damn this cursèd thunder.

I’m five-eighths of an auto worker, now:
So goddamn scrawny that these rank fatigues
Could sleep three men—but I’ve forgotten how
To sleep. I miss the pointless, sad intrigues
Of staff rooms and failed marriages, and vow,
If God will carry me these last four leagues—
Or Satan, hey—without a fatal blunder,
I’ll pogue off home, and fuck this cursèd thunder.

The kids are scared of thunderstorms. That’s good.
I left my high heels wedged beneath the door.
Jayden has peed his pants. I knew he would.
It’s warm, wet, dark, and still here on the floor.
If they remember this—not that they should—
When they are grown, the ageless truth of war
May spare them from the spell all men are under,
All savages who pray to gods of thunder.

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