Lieutenant Graves at La Bourse

Face flat to the mud-earth, a soldier
sleeps. But no. You see,
clear as a flare
in darkness, a block

of saturated beige:
his moist foot, bare against the ground. This man
from Limerick
removed his boot
to pull—a corporal, smoking,
tells you—the trigger

with his toe. The barrel, he says, was just
a cigar in his mouth. Tomorrow,

billeted in La Bourse, the monsieur’s daughter
lifts her gray skirt, unwashed
for weeks. You turn your eyes


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