Gulf War One by Aaron Wiegert

It’s unclear where he was
Or what he was doing
Over there, carrying ammo
Dispensing water, fixing radios?
He wasn’t a medic, instinctually
He would’ve fixed that leg by now.
He sucks in his limp, but at night
It rains, without a prescription
Or insurance, he flees the storm
With Winston’s and whiskey:
Whatever his son can pick up
With a handful of fives.
Pant leg rolled up, his stringy
Hair wades under eyes so red
It’s disturbing that they remain dry.
Slumped in a recliner, the spark
From his Zippo is an ample
Antonym for aggravated silence,
Mispronouncing the French
Club where he agreed to dance
Tonight, the silence is broken
To evoke confrontation, it takes
A handful to keep him on the sidewalk
Yet he never does arrive
His leg: out of mind, leaping
Into midnight traffic: a green light
Death wish and an anonymous
Retreat to his hometown, building
Bonfires high, and all the cops
Know him by name as he cooks
Amphetamine for a living.

 

This poem was originally published September 22, 2014.

© 2014 Aaron Wiegert


Aaron Wiegert is the author of "Evil Queen", a chapbook from Budget Press. His work has appeared in: Poetry Salzburg Review, Tulane Review, South Carolina Review, Right Hand Pointing, Burner Magazine, and Antique Children Quarterly. He can be reached at aarondwiegert@gmail.com.