I see the wide desert terrain.
I see my buddy slump in the driver’s seat.
I see the blood flow down his green shirt.
I see my hand reach into his shirt.
I see my hand stop as it feels the bullet hole
in his chest.
I see two Iraqis guerillas in a pick-up truck,
stop next to my truck.
I see the two Iraqis look into my truck,
then talk to each other.
I see my hand grab the collar of my buddy’s shirt.
and pull him from the driver’s seat.
I see my buddy fall limply to the passenger floorboard.
I see my hand turn the ignition and my foot
depress the gas pedal as my truck slowly moves forward.
I see the Iraqi truck move along my side.
I see the grenade leave the hand
of the Iraqis in the passenger seat.
I see the grenade fly through his window.
I see the grenade fly towards my window.
I see the grenade fly through my window.
I see the grenade bounce off the seat
and land on my dead buddy.
I see the grenade explode.
I see shrapnel fly in every direction.
I see a piece fly towards my chest, the shrapnel.
I see the piece touch my shirt, the shrapnel.
I see the piece rip my shirt, the shrapnel.
I see the piece touch my skin, the shrapnel.
I see the piece penetrate my skin, the shrapnel.
I see the piece disappear into my chest, the shrapnel.
I see black.
John Monagle resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He retired from working at The Library of Congress, and graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts with a MFA in creative writing, specializing in poetry. I’ve had numerous poems published in a variety of journals, most recently in Sin Fronteras, Voices, and Verse of Silence.