Matthew Borczon

PTSD

PTSD is an unfinished
symphony played
on the screams of
wounded Marines
and the cries of
Afghan children

The percussion
is a helicopter
the woodwinds
are all wound vacs
it’s free to come in
and listen but it will
cost you everything
if you ever hope
to leave

PTSD is the space
between my wife
and me in bed

The space she fills
with pillows
blankets
and two dogs

The one I fill
with sweaty sheets
fear and the desire
to once again
be the man
she married

PTSD is the look
on my pharmacist’s
face when I don’t
want my anxiety
medication

It is the note
my mother sent
asking me when
will I get over
all of this

And it is the taste
of vomit
in my mouth
when anyone
thanks me for
my service

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