Requiem for a Toy Soldier by Hollie Dugas

I wipe her tiny green body,

preparing to send it down

a small trench to the Animus,

doing it with a glass of tea

and something other than sadness,

her two stiff arms pointing upward

from her unyielding frame, as if

to ask for a keepsake, something

to take to the place without me.

I kiss the small weapon

fixed to her hand and release

her shiny body through the brown

fissure and into another

flimsy world, mother turtle depositing

hatchlings. In death we see

what’s inside, the soft uncertainties

rearranging. When I die, I want to

be palatable, eaten up by a lover’s

feelings, the world looking down

on my measly form as it follows

a tea-soaked slice of orange

to the space where I’ll be planted

in a small spot of earth, an egg

in the sand, heart-sap ripening.