December 28, 2010

David LaBounty

21-GUN SALUTE

we started
talking about it

the way
one talks
about how
they’re
someday
going to
go to
heaven
or maybe
Costa Rica

we talked
about plans
for the
kids just
in case
the worst
should ever
happen, we

talked about
death & burials
& I said

I’m a veteran

I might
as well
take what
the government
will give me
even if
it’s nothing
more than
a burial in
a plain
pinewood box,
even if
it’s nothing

more than
an origami
flag & a
matter-of-fact
21-gun salute,
the shells
discharged
on the grass
barely
fertilized
by the
state w/ the
sergeant-at-arms
yelling “next”

I failed to
mention
what
happened
to me
yesterday
while
stopped
at a light,
how I
fell in
love w/
another
pretty girl
driving
another
beat-up car

just as I failed
to mention
the beautiful
simplicity
of a beat-up
car, how it
serves a purpose

just like
a plain
pinewood box

from Rattle #33, Summer 2010