Mark I. Kirkmeyer


I just spent an hour and a half
The Marine’s fiancée tried shaking him awake
He was over there in his dreamscape
The shaking became the fury of an IED
She tried to be close waiting for a kiss
He was a coiled spring
Luckily I have an open door policy
He came up to talk
I smiled at him, offered to intercede
I knew he was going to be there last night
One of his friends just got back from Fallujah
We sat around last night drinking and talking
The bullshit of the military.
Fucked up officers, stupid choices
The hookah came out
Fine Turkish tobacco
All the sensory stimuli.
I explained it to him.
Though time and mission separate us
The locations are all the same
She came up and knocked.
Is my other half here?
He shook his head
I invited her in
Communication is the key
Asked for her morning kiss
I could see he wasn’t ready yet.
I sat her down in one of my recliners
Sitting on the coffee table
“Cries when you tried to shake him awake,
He was over there and had to stop himself.”
Understanding crossed her face.
Lessons began “When waking him
Protect yourself with distance.
Give him precious seconds to discover.
Let him come to you in the morning”
“Kris, you need to let her know
Closeness is okay. Work on signals
Initiate the morning intimacy,
that don’t mean sex”
I told her that sometimes there will be
signs that will pre-warn her where he’ll be
Like the military talk and the hookah
Sometimes there will not.
He told her he loves her and a dutiful kiss
I knew he was still over there though he didn’t
I could see the tension in the muscles
She left and I continued with him
He finally unwound enough
Departed and went down to show her.
I thank God he put me here
In the right place at the right time
With the required knowledge
To help them through these events
With the inspired wisdom
To know when to push for understanding
To explain why I shun what I shun.
Though I wish I had a counterpart
I can be right with him through these times
But have never experienced her side
Hopefully explaining to her helps.