Santa Monica, California, USA
Hi Beauty -- This is basically unfathomable, a string of interesting images with no anchor.
"One soldier down,"
Right off the bat you use an ambiguous image with no specificity. "One soldier down" has a very precise meaning to anyone who has ever been a soldier: killed/wounded in combat. I don't believe you can make the stretch from combat casualty to suicide, or, if you can, you don't do it here.
"round his throat a rope of braided acrid hemp."
The probable word for "hemp" is "jute." Wet, it can smell for sure. But, it is within the sphere of a sailor, not a soldier. And it isn't braided.
"Down in musty twilight that reeks of athleteís foot
and his that dangle."
Two problems: "Twilight," a time of day, cannot reek of anything. A "time" may have metaphorical aspects, but stink doesn't logically flow as one of them.
"How in company of winking stars and glowing candles--
I wish I could weep for him--
There is no "him" to reference, no concreteness, no reason given for you to weep for this particular entity.
"How in their nitpicked cupboard he ties a knot,"
Almost a nonsense line. Who is "their?" What is "nitpicked?" What "cupboard?" The line can't be followed on a logical or metaphorical plane.
"gasps as lungs stretch like birthday balloons,"
All Right! Here you've a fresh image and a great line!
"as fingers claw and urine soils."
"How a phony forgets and brother hangs from his barracks"
OK, here's the first, and strong, indication that the poem means something to you as a poet. But who's the "phony," and who's the "brother?" Doesn't hurt to talk about what you are talking about.
Aargh, though. One hangs from a rafter, not a barracks, unless I am missing a metaphor.
Well, yeah, I'm being a little cranky, but this one just doesn't seem up to your often good work.