Iwo Jima
by Bob Bradshaw


I lunged onto the beach.
Men leaned over creases
of sand,
dead.
Sand stung my eyes.
I ran forward.
The guy in front of me
lay on his back
as if sunbathing,
his eyes
staring past me.
His left leg was missing.
I jumped into his hole
and rolled him out.
I curled up
all night as gunfire
singed the air.
Night after night mortars
were lobbed down on us.
In the morning
our platoon would inch our way
up volcanic hills.
Among them were layers
of pillboxes
and machine gun
nests.
We were picked apart
as we zigzagged
forward.
At dusk we would crawl
into fresh craters.
And every night I peered
over the edge of one
like a live crab
in a bowl,
about to be diced
up.







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