A Ghost in an Arabian Desert
A Non-Fiction Poem
By J.B. Stevens
After we returned,
We had a ceremony and the commander said many nice things,
I got a Bronze Star.
My mother and father and brothers met me at the base,
Because my fiancé had cheated and left,
And my brother brought me ice-cream.
My fire support officer,
He was alone as well,
Because women want a man that exists,
Not a ghost in an Arabian desert,
In limbo at some forgotten combat outpost,
With no phone or email,
Praying to not get blown to fuck,
But not caring too much,
Because the after seems far more peaceful.
3-0 and I went to Prague,
To chase wine and woman and wonder,
But I couldn’t sleep,
And the night terrors woke me,
They woke him too,
And I screamed in the corner,
But he didn’t talk about it and acted as if it never happened,
And that is kind of him.
And Prague is beautiful.
And I don’t know if I am a ghost in an Arabian desert,
Or if I am still asleep,
Or if I care too much,
But the ice cream and Bronze Star and the Commander’s words were all very nice.
Perhaps it is better to be a ghost in the Arabian desert.