A young man on a French beach
wading in the light surf and wan sun

backflips into a wave. Nearby, a friend lies
on the sand, gesturing, holding a picnic

of his guts in his lap. In three days, sand-
wiches will be consumed here casually

by those in command, whiskers will be clipped
and cards dealt, but now: only a concrete

pillbox re-upholstering the enemy
with the reversible fabric of his own

stained flesh. For those coming ashore in trembling
waves, a heroic chance to become

a stump. Strafing, sniping, this mortar coil
unwinds. To eat enough fire so those flanking

can flee and kill the pillbox, to lend a hand
or a leg, to have the chest-borne letter home

Swiss-cheesed—the rules of the game.
Afterwards, on the beach, a dead zoo

of young males. Cut to the amputees
being fitted with limbs to blow away

on cue. Cut to crane, slate, chopper,
light meter, honey wagon, bullhorn

and director’s chair. Simmer fifty years
or so. Reduce a dimension. Serve cold.