British Soldiers
—poetry by Michael McInnis

He listed one of the
Charles as an 
emergency contact —
— on the form the
nurse handed him
reeling from ingesting
red helmeted British soldiers.

Sheet lightening still
crackling across his eyes as if
Orion had risen
during the summer,
winter only a
name given to war
heroes who walked in
heavy gales through a
pocked landscape.

The tree down across
the cratered path,
Cladonia cristatella and
Trebouxia erici holding
out for new growth,
luminous from the night’s rain,
bitter and musty tasting
still as they pumped his
stomach of the lichen.

Michael McInnis lives in Boston and spent six years in the Navy sailing across the Pacific and Indian Oceans to the Persian Gulf three times, chasing white whales and ending up only with madness. He has published poetry and short fiction in Rasputin Poetry, Literary Yard, 1947, Dead Snakes, Monkey Bicycle, Cream City Review and other little magazines and small presses.