5 x 5

by Caitlin Johnson

I. Pfc/Army
He was
an alcoholic, even at that
young age. Spoiled, aimless,
eyes out of focus
no matter where his gaze settled.

II. PO2/Navy
Honorably discharged
but learned nothing about
discipline. Knew only
about sailors’ knots
& escaping out to sea.

III. A1C/Air Force
Bored, always moving
his hands to keep his mind
from wandering into
dark places where he might
have to face the world’s truth.

IV. Sgt/Army
This secretive, mysterious
paratrooper was not afraid
to jump, but I wonder
if he could ever
pull the cord.

V. SSgt/Army
His scope on the distance,
scouting because he can’t stop.
Every attempt I make
to draw him back into me
works momentarily, then fails.

Caitlin Johnson holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Her work has appeared in Boston Poetry Magazine, Clare Literary Journal, Eternal Haunted Summer, Fortunates, Momoware, Pembroke Magazine, Vagina: The Zine, and What the Fiction, among other outlets, and is forthcoming in Baseline Literary Arts Journal and Stoneboat Literary Journal.