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The Tank and the Fossil

ISSUE:  Summer 1995

The tank hatch shuts Forty-eight hours
to go inside His body armor baulky His
headset jabbers Voices like frying circuits
Orange data scrolling in the computer screen
He calculates and reports Gets jolted sideways
Wallslammed Fortunate because he’s far
to the rear of the combat Lobbing high
shells that target enemy infantry But
if their rockets falling behind our lines hit this tank
He does not know day or night The time is If


He climbs out and it’s night Desert darkness
Naked he sleeps Naked he wakes covered in mist
His hand does not find his glasses Picks up
a small snail of sandstone
flecked with dewy quartz A million years
His palm looks young
This morning’s getting light



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