PSALM OF THE BAYONET

Poem by Mark I Rasskazov.

My wounds are tightly bound with tattered cloth.
My firing eye’s unmarred; it sees for miles.
God why are there so few of us today?
Only two of us battletorn remain;
One is still learning the rigors of war.

I duck as my degraded shelter shakes.
I must duck and run to sounder shelter.
I wait until I hear the sweetest sound:
Accelerating flecks of lead hurtling
Toward the gaping, fiery maw before me.

I leave just as the crumbling pillars crack.
A world’s weight of wooden roof crashes down
Upon the spot where I had stood and fought
But a time-dilated moment ago.
No cover; I embrace the ground and crawl.

The world shakes from blood coursing through my veins
Pumping wildly throughout my battered skull.
Every painful old wound has reopened;
The demons will follow my trail of blood.
I scan in vain for shelter from steel rain.

Power born of fury — I break the ground;
God has blessed my desperate, despairing ire.
As dust piles before me it turns to stone.
The beast roars at me with a desperate shout;
Incredulous, fearful — at divine grace.

Six hundred and sixty six bullets break
Shattering helplessly against the stone.
I laugh maniacally as my weapon
Spits burning sulfur; evokes painful screams
From the monstrous ten headed beast of Hell.

My sisters of war flank it from the left;
Powerful, angry and battle ready,
Buoyed by a host of warrior angels.
Shining bayonets slice the scaly necks.
The world’s ablaze; my soul is lifted up.

Amen.

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