I am years away from the battle
but my head can’t catch up.
All it takes to bring you back
is a playful press of knuckles to an elbow
and I’m army crawling across the floor again,
hiding in the trenches,
seeking safety beneath the bed.
Staring, not focusing, into space
body heavy in the present
while the mind fights the war.
Clammy hands molding the clay
of my body to your design.
Crescent shape indents
like shrapnel in my skin.
You’re present in every bruise,
in pockmarked skin like bullet wounds.
Phantom fingers gripping tightly
pulling me into the battlefield.
I’m not a decorated veteran
only a survivor of your terror.
So why does it feel like
there is still a bullet
beneath my skin?
Carly Fowler is a writer and reluctant Long Islander. She is currently majoring in creative writing at SUNY Purchase where she threatens to write the noir novella of the century. Her work has previously appeared in the form of graphic novels and blog posts.