Graham Barnhart
Photo by Nathan Anderson

                       such eyes the widows in Corioli wear
                       —William Shakespeare, Coriolanus 

Behind headlights drawing darker 
night against the snow
he regrets saying Kind of like
Afghanistan aloud. 

How to explain to his mother
and grandmother in the otherwise 
silent heat of the car that suddenly
it had been spring for days  

he heard the water running out, 
dirty snow returning to mud,
Humvees crawling thick tread 
into the cliff road. Helicopters always 

hornets caught in the valley’s 
cupped hands, and Steve Prescott 
swiveling the mounted Ma Deuce 

and saying every so often
feels like I cheated on my wife and 
now I gotta give her flowers—  
even though the hit had been another 

team, and we were only stacking 
sewing machines outside houses 
with un-glassed windows 
like blank stares accepting    

a world where widows sew 
their children clothes with needles  

left behind by the men 
who killed their husbands.  

It’s just—we had to do a lot 
of slow driving at night in the snow.

Graham Barnhart served as a Special Forces medic in Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently pursuing an MFA at Ohio State University. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Beloit Poetry JournalThe Gettysburg ReviewGulf CoastThe Sewanee Review, and others. He was recently named the recipient of the 2015 Chad Walsh Poetry Prize from the Beloit Poetry Journal.