His body is cracked and bowed, his clothes stiff with dirt. His day is a doorway and an upturned cap, cans of cider, corrugated cardboard. His nights are darkness blotting like ink and the bitter howls of the ghosts of his past.
It hadn’t always been like this. Once, there had been a uniform, a duty, a purpose. Once.
Then, one day, they’d let him go. Goodbye, good luck, chin up!
But what he’d seen and done lingered like a curse. What he’d seen and done could never be erased.
Join the army, they’d said. Be the best, they’d said.