Tuesday, September 14, 2010

poem of the day 09.14.10

the names of the dead

sitting here
in this diner
a woman next to me eating
country fried steak and home fries
i hear the names of the dead
as they are read over the radio

the waitress
calls me handsome
she asks me what i want to eat
with my coffee
i tell her that i will eat
the names of the dead
scrambled with a side of bacon

outside the flags are hanging
at half mast
and each storefront has a sign
that reads: 9/11 we will never forget

years later
i fear i have to believe them
with the names of the dead
ringing in my ears
bleeding the pages of my newspaper

americans never forget anything
except that which they are doomed to repeat

i ask the waitress
what it’s like to wallow in misery
every year
what it is to swim
in the cesspool of our antiquated anger
and global impotence

i tell her that i have forgotten
nearly everything in the last decade

she asks me how
the names of the dead taste
in my dirty mouth

she winks at me
she calls me handsome again
but i do not believe that she means it
then she wipes off the counter
with an american flag

she hands me the check
the names of the dead
are scrawled all over it

along with a total of $8.95
written beneath a smiley face
and the word thank you.

1 comment:

Lynne H. said...

I keep hoping to come upon a poem of yours that is just below the lynne-o-meter..
have not seen one yet..