Ethanol (n.) - a clear, odorless liquid that acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, a diuretic, and a disinfectant (Source: MeSH).
The cold lips of the bottle touches my own
Its fire fills me and flows through my throat.
It fills my veins as I sit on my hardened throne
Made of rusting medals awarded after I fought.
Bloodshot eyes and gray thinning hair,
My head bursts with pain along the despair.
I drink to forget, to forget being sober
But drinking again just made me remember.
Once again I heard the familiar sounds,
Music that spell destruction abounds.
I am a man wielding his fire breathing sword
All of us saluting, appearing tenfold.
I take another gulp from my friend,
Before I am filled with mem'ries I resent.
I hear the cluck of my boots on the asphalt road
As I partake on the stories to be left untold.
We were twenty meters east of the garrison.
I aim for the head as I pull the trigger,
Shouting, "for my country!"
Drowning my thoughts in a river.
Gunned down bodies rest on my feet
As we marched down the road
Looking for some more else to defeat.
"Is the site clear?" my ears rang.
"Affirmative," they said then hanged.
Once again I go home to my country
Decorated with golden stars for my duty
Welcomed by swarms of people in the streets
They chant and sing to the nation's beat.
The acts of bravery have been paid and rewarded
And the greatness of the nation has been well-recorded.
But not the horrors we did on the land of the tropical sun,
Or perhaps the horrors we were commanded to be done.
Another gulp as I swim back to the memories
One more, then another
As I try to mask it with revelries
From the publicized outcry and stories
Far from the nick of truth
Plastered in my head.
I firmly stand, saluting to the flag.
A loud voice booms, congratulating us
"Your bravery for keeping the peace is commendable," he says.
He pins me a medal, then another or two
As if it will made me forget the horrors it cost.
I remember their scream,
The soldiers my weapon gunned down.
I remember the explosions,
As we flash bombs across the whole town.
Blood dries and tears fade,
Yet not the horrors of how we misbehave.
Gunshots heal and so do open wounds,
But the bitterness is still on the loose.
What use is my golden medal?
Nor the status they honored me on a pedestal?
If it haunts me day and night
Not once it went out of sight.
I open my eyes and run my fingertips
Across the bottle's cold, barren lips.
I threw it away, as it joins it empty brothers
And drag another to forget being sober.