Psychopomp Magazine Spring 2016 - Page 22

which means infection. He won't see the medic because he's afraid he'll be sent somewhere to a hospital and we'll be split up. After these last six months, we're not leaving here without each other. Though he says this is the only reason he won't see the medic, I know that he just doesn't want to admit to how it happened. In the waiting moments between missions, the guys in my company have been playing this game where they stand across from each other, legs spread, and chuck a hatchet into the ground between each other's feet. With each throw, they move their feet closer together until the leather of someone's boot slices thinly off like a piece of deli meat

& looking at the map, we see that all possible roads seem to find their epicenter in our home of Allegheny, Illinois, like no matter how hard they try to get away, they are still pulled back, as though magnetized, to Allegheny, an old railroad town with rail stations littered around the main intersections in varying states of use. The town was made for coming and going, but with all the abandoned rail stations around, it seems like Allegheny can no longer witness all the coming and going. It's grown tired, sad. With each passing day, the houses of those who stay here look more and more like those boarded-up and abandoned rail stations

& in the dirty, humid light of another dawn in Tam Ky, I take Rudy's foot and wrap it for him. I have felt, in these last few months, more like a healer than a soldier. It is still quiet here, but the quiet is rushing now, with the sound of something that is leaving, something that has already left

& we can see these abandoned rail stations out of the east-facing window of our treehouse, back towards where the city lies. The treehouse has been built high enough that out the west window, we can see the school and

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