AWOL.

In the deafening chaos of the early morning
Guns blazing as mortar bombs recreate a cruel
imitation of a past bonfire night
(He remembers the one in 1993 – no reason why)
As children tear across the ravaged streets
Without legs, without eyes, without life
He sits
His back to the wall
Clutching a picture of her.

She looks beautiful.
Her eyes reflecting a life he once remembered
A smile that at one time captured him
And made him feel like he would never want to let go
As if he would die if he were to lay one night
Without her beside him

But that was another life.

Before
They would sit with their eyes to the stars
Hands entwined, the cold grass caressing their spines
High above the city limits
The sound of silence a reassuring presence
But for a whisper in the ear
That tells him he never needs to feel alone

Now
There is never any silence.
There is no reflection of the stars in the lights of the city below
No gentle caress of her fingers upon his
No cold kiss of the grass

Instead
The screams of the dead echo through the ruined streets
The only whispers come from fallen comrades bent crudely
across his knees, viciously swallowing their last breath
The stars hidden by the clouded trails of missiles and bullets

He does not want to be here
Amongst the dead and the dying
As the broken city falls before his once-alive eyes,
And yet he cannot think of anywhere else he could be.

Because since she allowed herself to succumb to the might
Of a higher being than he,
Once she gave in to the ravaging war inside her own being,
Once she died…

He realised that he could never look at the stars again.

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