Beautiful Like…

STOP!
Right there.
I want to remember this image
for the rest of my life.
I want to remember the shape of
your thighs clamped tight around mine,
the shine of your tangled hair,
the sheen of the impassioned sweat
on your slender, outstretched arms,
and the gleam of the blade
on that really big knife you’re holding.

Just stop,
because I’ve got to tell you something:
you’re beautiful.
And I don’t mean run-of-the-mill
girl-next-door kind of beautiful
You are stunningly, terrifyingly,
shock-and-awe beautiful.
You are beautiful like
bullet tracers over Fallujah are beautiful,
beautiful like the thousand shapes and colors
swimming in your vision
after a too-soon flashbang
in a Baghdad bakery are beautiful.
Beautiful like the grenade at your feet
still has the pin is beautiful,
beautiful like the bullet that kissed your dog tags
and only went halfway through is beautiful,
beautiful like the bullet that kissed your throat
and went all the way through is beautiful.
Beautiful like the bright instruments of a British medic
in a field camp hospital clamping your veins,
and stitching your flesh, and saving your life are beautiful.
Beautiful like three bags of
Type O negative blood are beautiful.

Stop.
Right there.
I want to remember this image for the rest of my life,
like I’ll remember the image
of you stepping out of a C-130 transport plane,
and realizing that when they told me
they never leave one behind,
they didn’t mean they wouldn’t leave a few pieces.
You are beautiful.
You are beautiful
like the edges of the broken pieces
of a celebratory wine bottle,
glittering like razor wire all across
the earthtone tablecloth are beautiful.
You are beautiful like the stares of people in Wal-mart
when the bang of a box sliding off a shelf
puts you screaming on the floor are beautiful.
You are beautiful like nightmares are beautiful.
You are beautiful like
“Honey, Mommy might be a little different when she gets back.”
“That’s okay. I’ll still love her, Daddy” is beautiful.

I’ll still love you, baby.
We’ll get you the help you need,
but you need to give me the knife.

This poem © Gabriel Gadfly. Published September 11th, 2010.