These past few weeks I’m more than just aware
of where he is—I’m hypersensitive,
stretched thin as a length of wire, a hair-
trigger mechanism. Nothing can live
near me. I twitch each time the telephone
rings though the dark, so like a warning bell
I want to run from it, escape the Green Zone
of this house. Who said that war is hell?
Well, waiting can be worse. Show me a guy
shipped overseas, and I’ll show you a wife
who sees disaster dropping from the sky.
The ambush always comes, her husband’s life
a road of booby traps and blind spots made
to hide the rock, the shell, the thrown grenade.
Excerpted from Stateside, Northwestern University Press, 2010