Young and in the war-singed jungle,
his face as carved as an old man’s,
shadows of death weave through his hair,
ghosts drifting past his eyes.
His vision holds a secret
darkness of atrocities. The torn
sunlight settles on his skin
and sinks down, slipping into his soul.
His feet will always be stained
from soaking in the blood of this land.
The sun from a hundred years ago
candles his spirit and settles
on his swooping mustache.
His rough hands tremble from pulling
shadows through time. With total recall
of every thorn and cut, he laughs
as days shred into a pile at his feet.
A retrograde cloud looms behind him,
and he toasts it with a shot of whiskey
that reflects a trail of fractured light.
A bottle of Evan Williams in one hand,
a double-bladed Pulaski axe in the other,
his grip blurs with tremors. Onlookers
step back. Some know how his mind etches
memories on its wall, how no flood of alcohol
could wash them away. He will repeat each
word of the lecture you missed, recite the
article that drowned in spilled ink-blossoms.
Suddenly steady, he raises his axe and cleaves
the sun. A corona showers him as he hits the target.
He is in the wheelhouse mapping
triangulations to celestially
navigate the ship’s direction. He sends
the bow gliding through black water
the same way he slips through time,
breaking the currents into thousands
of tiny star-like jewels until the sea
and sky blend into one. He doesn’t
have far to go before his journey
is complete. The moon follows him.