Wake Me When It’s Over- Nicholas Osborne

Earth shaking, visceral work from the juggernaut that is Nick Osborne

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

wake_me_when_its_overmy boots are caked with mud and shit, and
likely other elements I’d soon withhold from mind;
I squat, with lumbar pressed into a man-dug ditch,
confined to this gashed earth we call a trench;
it’s damp out and my breath puffs precede me—
black smoke from a coal stack—sipping with mechanical
lips whatever lukewarm liquid sloshes in this old tin cup
I hold in palms that used to quaver, when blood
more innocent still coursed their length and width.

I’ve been told my hands look like a those of a pianist;
now just blunt and bloated stubs, with nails dipped in
midnight pitch—crescent slivers from the dark-side
face of a waning gibbous, so deep begrimed that I’d
need to hatchet-hack the digits off to separate
myself from this smut—the dirt that’s thick and
wet, and doesn’t wash off, though I could scour
my skin until I mined to bright…

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