Somewhere in some lost where
sometime with flying rocket shot
thews laying on red ground
some dust laden limb, some family photo submerged in river mud
some permanent smile locked in some rainmaker embrace
some gentlemen strewn in some blast’s throw
some watery eye, untouched, and suddenly doused
by the fog, green, perfect, and ghastly
This is the nighttime of sweet dreams for some.
Playing, loop-wise, tired in the thump
so we apply the wound to the words
and Cassius becomes, sometimes Perdita, Pistol, and Montjoy
they all become sometimes, they do
with throat long and raw, the crooning is all, the keening is all for a day, for a night
I could see their teeth
their tired, their temper,
their Tereus– the wars
Philomela, their wives
The dreamscape, the flight of that crazy nightingale she became
Still muted by the feminine aviation
of the enmity
laid in naked laps
while ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko” played in some transistor
while visions of bed sit-ins danced like sugarplums the bombs rained
while ‘Sweet Caroline” crooned, Hamburger hill swooned sick
in love with the rhetoric of stars and stripes and wiped of all
it ever needed to be a destination for a wedding, you know.
It took and took.
The words hold this, we think. Or no.
When they don’t it’s a drink stiff and
any tank treads in Bai-Gai mud.
It sinks them deep like horse hooves in Agincourt dirt.
Divests them of the dignity needed for an officer’s club, but keeps them from
mistakenly seeing Charlie swimming in their sheets and
strangling their sweet wives in their sleep.
We are failing at this.
We forgot, and still they lived.
They slid dow the wall without a blood trail, dis-championed by some bitch in a leotard
Calling them BABY KILLERS
while straddling and anti-aircraft gun
and smiling for the cameras.
And we forgot
They shuffle, talk, eat and respond.
The purgatory is verbose,
the hands deep in the fire
heart pumping under glass, the
breath marching on, so
Let’s call it.
There is no poetry for the walking dead.
There is no song for it.
Only the day I think. At least it was so for him. For them.
Some words to release the valve. A clear Sunset.
Their daughter’s recital.
A comfortable chair.
Snatches of sleep.
Today is all,
A close call, When it comes around.
Peter and Paul, Some Gabri-el, some Port of Call
some mercy, they will not tell you. They will not say.
Some mercy is what
the taste of the river
in their mouths
when they wake.