helmets we flea-marketed our defenses. found them in a pile of army-green. everything in the world was 50% off that day. tried them on & used each other's eyes as mirrors. saw myself in the circuits of your iris. a race track moving always towards the unknown. the war went on so long that we didn't know where the boundaries were. often whole battles were fought inside an individual. standing there hearing a horse gallop through my own heart. how could it be we were all ghosts? or, maybe worse, maybe war is what makes ghosts of us. in my helmet though i felt safe & so did you. bombs bounced off my skull & found another body to destroy. there is a law of the conservation of catastrophy: if you avoid annihilation, it is coming for someone else. the helmet then is a selfish apparatus. it makes me feel dolphin & i grip both its edges with my thumb & forefinger. only at night do i remove it to gaze inside & see a cathedral ceiling complete with choir song. you use yours as a bowl. fill it with lake water & go fishing. pull a trout to earth. wriggling in the grass. you ask "should i throw him back?" but it is too late. there is no backwards when it comes to water. i do not share my helmet like you do yours. a missile grazes our skin while we sleep. we know only by a streak of purple drawn across our left cheeks. kisses of death. i strap the helmet back on. i can feel a battle blooming just on the other side of the street.