Danielle Mitchell

To Love a Marine
by Danielle Mitchell

There is danger. There is the orange tea stain of his old vest, a day of missiles loaded & shed. A thousand creeds dropping over the tar sands. His body memory alive in the sleeves of his sleeveless shirts. A forearm ready with a Semper Fi crest. It won’t matter what my body does with his body, he will hold. His hands know rifle, mortar shell, newborn. His hands can fold five points into the corners of our bed better than my mother. As night comes, we can allow it to come. Let it deal us into its deck of fatal cards. He is not luck, but trade. Self-made & exact. Yes, his body is surrounded in bootcamp. Yes, he shouts in his sleep & flings his heft from bed, answering his own throat’s trumpet. But he returns & returns. He remembers the evenings he walked home through a Japanese field swarming with batlife—none of the other Marines knowing what to call the night that touches back. His shoulder flecked with the penumbra of wing, or my nimble lips in sleep. He touches back. Oh, how he is tender & bread. How he shows me I forget kindness. If there is danger it is not from him. It is mine. It is mine. It is mine.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

Danielle MitchellDanielle Mitchell is winner of the 2015 Editor’s Prize from Mary and a recipient of the Editor’s Choice Award from The Mas Tequila Review. Danielle lives in Long Beach, California where she is director of The Poetry Lab. Catch up with her at poetryofdanielle.com.

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