Michael Longley

Desert Warfare, Michael Longley

Though there are distances between us
I lean across and with my finger
Pick sleep from the corners of her eyes,
Two grain of sand. Could any soldier
Conscripted to such desert warfare
Discern more accurately than I do
The numerous hazards-a high sun,
Repetitive dunes, compasses jamming,
Delirium, death-or dare with me
During the lulls in each bombardment
To address her presence, her absence?
She might be a mirage, and my long
Soliloquies part of the action.