Torched

Watching the Outside in the camoed mirror, looking glass into Hell.

Treacherous, rabid inferno streams by in ugly images pasted on a long paper roll,

Out there, just beyond my right side window of the meatwagon,

A jambeled collection of scenes from some foreign, bizarre comedy nightmare:

Two small boys playing with a stick and bottle, dirty urchins in road dust, rust stained underwear made for men;

Sun dried pastels on doors that have been splintered by kicks, dirt and dirty hand pushes, 243 bullets holes;

Boarded windows with torn sheets for curtains, hidden hands wagging the grey tongues in windless desert air,

Manikin aliens, walking, gesturing, squatting, spitting, talking in meaningless jabber.

Not human, unless there is a cry of pain.

Phone and power lines, dead, hanging black spaghetti;

Sputters, roars, whines from cars and trucks that have more filth on them than paint -- mules of bedraggled traders, tyrants, cheaters, and rich snitches;

The sickening flavor of old grease and strange vegetables glues itself to the inside of my nose;

And the ever present feel of dust, grime, grit and constant whiff of raw body sweat.

The brick hut plaza hums and gargles of creature lifestyle,

Everywhere except the tiny fraction of hatred silence around us as we go by;

It is a cacophony of craziness.

My gaze catches the whites of sideways glances.

Always a bad sign when they donít look you in the eyes.

Dropped the piece of Spearmint gum that I like,

Cool flavor for the fury of slow, routine patrol,

Where the heat of anxiety is always at the back of my throat.

From my twisting to reach down, the view to the back,

I see it happening, in slow motion; the distant, flash and smoke.

Meatwagon lifts and air dances.

The impact/smash fragments the illusion of my mirror

Into flaming shards of death, cart wheeling me over the insides of the wagon as it flips and rolls.

A whirlpool conglomerate of parts, mechanical and body, swirl around and with me.

And we rain torrents down on the roof, which is now the burning floor.

Itís not the fact of war in sliced moments that is strange,

Itís the brutal change

From the everyday happenstance of movie watching to whatís left.

From gleaming tranquility of having a life and expectations, just sitting and riding, to sprayed shards of torched visions that end in a black hole.

Itís hard to think, though everything is crystal clear.

What is it? Synchronicity? Good luck?

I had dropped the piece of gum

And had to duck to the floor to find it.

The floor is usually death,

But the dragon hit the other side,

And my luck of the draw place was an oasis in the split second inferno.

All things burn in fuel, of course, including my hamburgered mate

In the front, and shredded gunner on top.

The burning smoke goes down, no up, to the twisted seats above,

Ripped into bits of crushed tuna cans, the wagon crumpled upside down by a hurricane force in a small fist, and abstract painted with the bits and pieces of the bodies of those now departed.

Everything looks different upside down.

I canít figure out how or why I am still alive.

There is nothing wrong with me.

I roll to a side not burning, find a weapon and fire through a port.

At a moving target. Whatever. Whomever.

Nothing makes sense.

I should be dead with the others,

(Who will be forgotten in painful agony by their loved ones,

And are already forgotten by all those who say they care.)

Should be, But, I am not.

Though I may as well be,

For the shattered mirror of my mind,

Will only reflect this moment.

Over, and over, and over.

Till death do us part.

I must get off a few more rounds.