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With soft words, you unwrap the bindings,

            that cover my cracks and blemishes.

            It’s the first you’ll have seen these scars.

            Then, to ease my exposure, 

            you show me yours, like medals,

            won from a war no one enlists in. 

“A good man.”

And that takes me aback.

The still water, inky black, having no sky to reflect,

Casts our beach into darkness, and despite having no light,

I still see you in a new one. 


My eyes close. Sleep,

Backed by the symphony of an almost silence,

That only nature can conduct, and wilderness compose.

I lie, musked in firewood, and sweat,

Acutely aware a full nights’ rest lies,

not on my horizon.


            Down the aisles of Church,

            By the curb, in neat piles, sand.          

As if I’m given one last chance to say   goodbye,

            to a weekend well spent.

            Tomorrow, life resumes.

            I remark (fondly)

this is the closest I’ll come to understanding,

if even for a fleeting moment, a flame’s breath, 

The brotherly love felt for a sister, and with that, find myself wishing, it’ll all be okay.

By Ben Clifford

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