Why put the barrel in your mouth?
Why not the solar plexus, toward the heart,
or to your temple or one ear?
Why choose the palate to be burst apart
before you toppled over dumb-
struck from your favorite partridge gun?
Did you gulp that hot draught to quench
the images, conclude the sights and sounds
our minds record the years at war,
then replay over uncontested grounds,
through fitful sleep, beyond our will,
as clouded narratives of hell?
Stand deeper in the river now;
whip free your line and float a bristle fly
into that runnelled pool of shadows
where no trout will rise, no words apply.
The alder grove is opaline,
no twig or leaf quite what it seemed.
Author: William Conelly
William Conelly entered the Air Force at 17, received a Presidential appointment to the Air Force Academy at 18, and resigned from the Academy three months after turning 21, preferring any further studies to be in the liberal arts. He subsequently received both a BA and an MA under the tutelage of Edgar Bowers at UC Santa Barbara. Since 1987 his poetry has appeared irregularly in the USA and the United Kingdom. A novel of youthful revelation (Tether's End) and a poetry collection (Untested Grounds) are available from Amazon.