Wednesday, September 27, 2006

some daily language

I can see along the far curve of the earth
my longing for you burning in a thin line of ember
red. Do not say a word

without me. Do not move
across a room without me,
your smell lingering.
Do not smile or cover up with blankets while I’m gone.
I can not stand to miss those things
one time.

Iraq is an empty world.
I remember a place that was full of you. I remember a place.
The phone lines here fail. My memory of you is not like
the smell. My imagination makes up a girl very like you
who does exactly what I would expect you to do, like you
would never do.

Why must you die? Why have you disappeared
farther away than my longing?

Friday, September 01, 2006

some daily language

Sometimes you have to go
pee. Sometimes you know
the pee will squirt out in just a few seconds.
You have no time.

It was not my proudest moment, but as a grown man
I once peed my pants. Not from laughing.

I kept thinking of the water fights I fought
as a kid in the summer time. I thought
of the bathroom faucet I filled waterballoons at.
The water everywhere on the counters and carpet
from the balloons I bursted. I danced

literally danced outside my patrol car, yes,
but finally not even my concealed dancing could help.
Water faucets and bathrooms and spilling water
were the wrong things to be thinking about.

Sometimes in the red zone here, the miles of headlights
of our convoy in the night stretching, in the danger zone
we fill up bottles because we are scared
of the outside. But in the green zone,
we can not stop still, so we throw our doors open and stand
on the brink of our vehicle, scrambling to clear ourselves
of the forty pounds of gear we wear and piss
into the beautiful wind. We can not explain it,
the pride we take.

The night, the miles
of headlights and breaklights, the warm
Iraqi air, standing on the moving
brink to pavement and fields
and leaving along behind us a dark thin line
marking the way we have gone.