Fighting for the man beside us
Seen through gas-mask lenses
Through phosgene clouds
Advancing silhouettes

Rifle’s jammed, a club only
Too long and heavy anyway
When death’s at arm’s length
Or from above, a thunderbolt

I grapple with my enemy
Hand to hand, war to the knife
Fumbling in chemical twilight
Blades though both our chests

Now-useless masks come off
Red foam on uniforms, lips
We clasp trembling hands
Enemies waiting for the end

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