Dear Phil, This is me failing
better. In the earliest Apollo capsules
there was so little oxygen
the astronauts had to sip it
like a hummingbird sucks
sugar. The difference between
someone else’s victory and ours
is often a matter of language.
Our country dropped drab futures
on another that still kills whales.
When the matador goes rag doll
part of me wants to celebrate.
Likewise when the gazelle gets away.
But the lion goes hungry, doesn’t she?
Whales gulp bodies like an undergod
swallows souls. My brother nearly died
touching himself in some army bunk in Iraq.
Backstage, between scenes, the actors shoot
tequila because tonight they want to be proper
drunks. They desire to fall off stage and to fall
requires faith. Faith in nothing, faith in the hardened
world. Our country plains pocked with hidden
warheads like snoozing monsters. I’m on the mound
watching for signals from some inner catcher shaking
each off with my head. No, no. The country still asleep
with what could kill us. Like flying, tell me how safe it is.