The Endless Sea by Drew Brenengen

Bombs rained down

followed by pamphlets

urging families to flee

Then we came

ten thousand of us

clustered on the outskirts

surrounding the desert city

its tan buildings clustered

all holding a mystery

We knew what was next

an endless sea of doors

untold carnage

Behind each one

a potential family

a potential threat

we lined up

next to each door

next to each other

This is how it was

each portal of the unknown

earning its own mule kick

we flooded the rooms

one by one

clearing each building

Never knowing

what was in them

praying for nothing

hoping for emptiness

Every person here now

a threat

I knew our luck would cease

eventually a kick

followed by shots

only three more

three more doors

then the day ends

It was bound to end

I kicked the door

my point man rushes in

just to be blown back

Ears ringing

covered in blood

It's not mine.

Thank God it's not mine

who's then?

The fog of war clears

I feel the percussion of shots

I feel the slickness of the blood

I see the grenades

I feel them explode

I'm in the room next

There is nothing left

everything in pieces

not an ounce of life

There never was life

the surprise left for us

was one with no heartbeat

My best friend

with no heartbeat

in pieces out on the street

We wrap him up

along with the day

only to begin again tomorrow

An endless sea of doors

in an ocean of violence