Love is what brought me to this end, and love
Was the end I wished. To break or to bend
Were the choices given when I chose to stand.
—Andréa Jarmai, “Tsuruhime: Greaves and Corselets”
I am a poor soldier, love, always the last
to find a way out of the jungle or breakfast
and the first to fall asleep on the watch.
I hated the uniform. Hard tack. Safety catch.
Called upon to lead a fighting company,
I stole behind a strapping Indian PC.
Hardship made me selfish. I pretended
not to see my turn to carry the wounded.
No, I am not proud of my army record.
The action never quite hit the word.
Will I change? Will I stand and break
for love? If there is anyone who can make
me a man, a woman, faithfulness,
you are he. But I am too much for peace.