SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 13, 2015) Lightning strikes the water as San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) navigates between storms. The Essex Amphibious Ready Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)

Shockwave

by Ken Williams

Shockwave
races at me
supercharged,
thousand horsepower strong
air ripples, twists
bends
visible, hurtling towards

Strikes
smashing,
shattering bones
pulverizing tissue
foretelling death
without signs of injury
hitting like a thousand pounds
invisible water
malevolent force
jacked on meth

Kevlar vests
burkas
flak jackets
useless
invisible diamond-bladed knife
tearing through fabric
flesh
Hot March day
A Shau, Vietnam
2004 Battle of Fallujah
Aleppo today
warrior
innocent alike

Devil’s scorching breath,
foul, sulfuric
rotten eggs,
crushing life
destroying illusions of permanence
astride
galloping Horses of the Apocalypse

I watched,
experienced
shuddered
did we all
some died
some forever marked
by his cloven hoofs