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Photo of a Soldier
by Carol Krejci 
02/14/06
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PHOTO OF A SOLDIER

What day is it? I need to sleep, Lord, but I’m too tired and there is no place to sleep. I’m trying to remember when I last brushed my teeth…sand, grit, smoky taste of burnt matches…and I am dying of thirst.
I don’t know who put this lit cigarette in my mouth, but I know that if I try to remove it, my lips will be bleeding and screaming with pain. The cigarette is stuck to my lips, and I’m too exhausted to inhale.
My mind is fighting to repress the noises and sights of this battle, and I seem to be in a faraway place and as if I am awakening from anesthesia. I feel so confused right now. Will life ever be normal again? No, I don’t think so. I think this will just go on and on…explosions, screams, fear, pain, thirst! There is no other life…there is just now! Exhaustion that feels as if I am separate from my body…and yet…I feel thirst! It consumes my thoughts, but there is no water here-only the heat of the battle, and the desert air, hot and all-consuming.



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