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Nocturne, Traffic Control Point

In armor, sweat, and skin, I sat

in the Humvee’s shell of steel.

Miles of traffic moved down the freeway,

north to Baghdad, engines shaking,

vehicles blurring against

pavement-heat ghosts.

A white car curved left, leapt the curb,

and came at us like the line of a bullet.

Jenkins traversed the 240, there were shouts

and shots—then I hovered high

above the roaring earth

on an orange bed of smoke

when the man’s body, gone at the torso,

twisted toward me, flailing out

his thin, dead arm, like he wanted

to hold my hand.

from The Stick SoldiersFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2013
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Hugh Martin Poems

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