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Thanksgiving Bondsteel

I saw a friend there.

From McClellan.

We staged the trucks
Machine guns
And bullets.

We rode out
hungry and cold.

Muddy roads
and snow.

Suffering

The problem with life
is you think it should have meaning.

So you grow up and work hard to get into college, to get a job, to get married, to have babies
to have meaning.

But the thing is,
there is no meaning.

They buried their dead in
tombs of stone
because they believed we would be forever.

But.

Our planet will be swallowed by the sun long after we have covered it with plastic,
long after we have ceased to be.

And you will be dead long before then.

We’re here for only a short little while.

So be kind to each other.
Kindness is the only thing that matters.

Lackland

I was once trapped in a room
with a navy wannabe
who wanted to know

how I cleaned myself
after shooting a motherfucker.

I kept quiet.

And he went away
with noise and anger.

I have been hit.

I have been bitten.

But always
I have never.

Tenderloin

For so long
I have wanted peace.

In the green hills of Washington
covered by weeping trees.

I walk amongst them
confessing my sins.

They listen
they do not forgive.

Retreat

And then we missed retreat.
While stacking footlockers
And breaking in.
Because the babies were up
And housing wouldn’t be in until
Reveille.

Song of the diesel radio

He’s losing his teeth
one by one.
And then
all at once.

Topeka

A woman lives in this park at the edge of town. She screams at the trees. She eats at the mission. She charges her phone at the library. She steals vodka from the liquor store. And at night she fights sleep, terrified of her dreams.

Fuel in the water, ice on the lines

Miles and miles of turbines day and night harvesting the wind tearing at the sky. All these towns now filled with ghosts but the lights must stay on until the bitter end.

Last free exit

Bright lights, black lights. Smell the same.

Sitting here in the bright dark
putting his last twenty into a g-string
or a slot machine.

Hoping somehow he can win
a different life.

Escape velocity

The street light blinking out a warning in Morse code
A late November storm turning Nebraska dirt to Kosovo mud
Are not signs of better things to come.