Wife Greeting a Soldier between Tours

My fingers trace the calligraphy of your pain
trying to smooth sorrow into a flat pond
perfect for dragonflies to skim.
Your tense muscles uncoil into rice paper
& you hear wind chimes.

I correspond with your body.
It tells me when to press my knuckles
into the battlefield of your flesh
and when to proceed with caution
searching for improvised explosive devices.

You are more depressed than hot weather.
I feel it.
I feel it as your muscles slither &flinch--
there is so much regret
deep inside, unable to let go,
--like holding a grenade with a pin removed.

No matter how much I rub the surface & flatten it,
it murmurs with thunder of surface-to-air missiles.

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