We gather on the battlefield
in sandals with our water bottles.
The spears are hard to handle,
the bows won’t notch, and the shields,
too heavy for us, slip to the ground.
The battle is sloppy, personal—
teeth and fingernails and rocks—
anything that will rip
through our novelty t-shirts,
find the soft skin still a bit chilled
from the air conditioned room
where we were just arguing over why
Achilles sits, playing his lyre,
while death surrounds him.
Christopher McCurry’s poems have appeared online at anderbo.com and Blood Lotus, as well as in print in The Chaffey Review and Limestone Journal. He is an editor at Accents Publishing in Lexington, Kentucky, where he manages chapbooks and interviews authors. He is currently editing an anthology: The Most Important Thing: Lessons from Creative Writing Teachers. He is completing a Masters in English Literature at the Bread Loaf School of English, thanks to a fellowship for public high school teachers generously given by the CE&S Foundation.
Photo: German and British soldiers playing football during a truce on Christmas Day 1914, public domain