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The Roman Soldier by Josef Lemoine | Word Riot

November 15, 2010      

The Roman Soldier by Josef Lemoine

Beyond your sliding glass
and shallow deck

I watched you stand upon the bank
tower tall and marble dense

your outfit made me laugh

heavy helmet boots and vest
pressed your soles in sand and gravel

glinting pilum, cingulum dangling
fists on hips, shaped like an anchor

But those smoky skies those pale spires.
You faced the midnight-colored chop
as though it called you home

I did not think to ask you why;
you shushed me told me not to cry

I dashed the painted hallway maze
and crashed the neighbors’ doors

lost in dreams spent on tomorrow –
the rest I could not wake to hold you.

The river now the same as I remember
a drifting grated onyx sheet

on my knees with all I have
I try to hug the imprint of your feet.

About the author:

Josef Lemoine is a member of the Cal State Long Beach slam poetry team. His favorite soup is miso.

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