In this dream he sees himself as he was as a child
watching a headless chicken run around the barnyard
spewing blood from its neck and exuding a muffled moan,
the moan you hear when people's mouths are taped shut.
Six at the time, he wondered what other horrors exist
that no one talks about, are kept hidden behind a curtain.
He is awake now with no prospect of going back to sleep.
It was earlier that same day, plodding through a labyrinth
of sunlight and dust in Fallujah, he saw what he had
witnessed before, an explosion opening like a car trunk
his buddy's head, displaying its cargo for all to see.
One thing he has learned is that minds are like toilets.
They are designed to flush away bad experiences,
but somehow his, being unreliable, or maybe broken,
spills out across the floor its richly-textured contents.