Excerpts from a War Memoir

by m.nicole.r. wildhood
I don’t want to tell you about this grip, this addiction.
I want to be in the holy place, by myself, as the catastrophe I am.
That must-share space with dark, loud blood,
covered, they’ll take me for dead.

And isn’t that what I am? I’m not ready; that is my design.
No one who needs will profit, their grip must hold longer.
No one knows, by design, who will profit.
Where, then, is the catastrophe?

I am not ready for the catastrophe of every place
we’ve ever been. Traveling should be like chocolate, shared
driving and shared truth. I am not ready for the holy land.
How can I tell you about this tightening catastrophe,

this death grip on slipping I thought would profit me?
I’m not ready, blood and addiction that I am, to go to the holy land
except by myself, unless it’s necessary. Unless
it’s chocolate dark and slippery.

Unless they’ll take me for dead. I don’t want to tell you
I’m not ready. This is what I am. Truth. Blood and a tightening grip.
In the holy land, I travel every place we’ve been,
refusing chocolate. Holy words are chocolate.

We looked at those holy words, blood and profit.
The world needs only the last two, it seems, the first are obsolete.
The holy words say this in a loud, erratic story
of blood and gripping addiction

almost like it’s necessary. Holy words are slippery
and I want to look by myself. I’m not ready.
They will take me for dead.
I don’t want to tell you I am dead.
m.nicole.r.wildhood is currently pursuing a master of divinity at Seattle Pacific Seminary. She has been a saxophone player and a registered scuba diver for over half her life, though she has yet to attempt the two simultaneously, and enjoys long bike rides her husband. Her work has appeared in poetry journals, blogs and anthologies associated with writing contests.

© 2014, m.nicole.r. wildhood