Factory smoke and fog along
the river. Kiss a girl and make
her quiver. Kiss her right and
you’re her lover. Lovers and
warriors are what women go for.
On the ground, head down, bodies
all around, Manning thinks about
his small town, as black smoke
billows from exploding bombs.
He envisions the lunch pail brigade
marching off each morning to the
factories, and women, like his mother
slipping on aprons and dipping their
hands into flour. He thought when
he left home to be a hero he would
find life sexier, surely better. The
mountain air crackled with staccato
gunfire. The earth shook under him.
The barrage kept pounding them.
Kiss a girl and make her sigh. Kiss
a girl and make her cry, when you
say goodbye and go to die.

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