Let the peaceful young men work their bis and tris.
Let’s not begrudge them their beach muscle.
This is not bitterness. Please, let them never imagine their Clean and Press
is a casualty raised up and over a Humvee’s up-armor.
Let them never know a body weighs more unconscious
or consider that barbells are built to be lifted, our bodies to lie down.
Today I can deadlift four-oh-five. When I can move four-ten
that will not stop a bullet or the overpressure of a bomb
flooding some tightened space, never mind the shrapnel and heat careening through that rapid bloat ripping—