Tuesday, May 31, 2016

poem of the day 05.31.16

my old man at the 9/11 memorial

fleet week in new york city
and gotham is littered with tourists
and sailors by the thousands

their ships docked somewhere along the hudson

yesterday we were packed like cattle on the circle line
as fighter jets flew over and people cheered

today we’re at the 9/11 memorial
because my mother wants to see
those two glorious holes in the dirt

no self-respecting new yorker would come here

but here i am regardless
as always, willing to appease for the sake of argument

my old man has had enough though

he sits on a stone pillar in the sun where few other are
because there’s nothing nearby to photograph
nothing to throw on facebook pages or instagram

near him, there is a pack of sailors
all clean shaven and shiny and white

a collection of popeye characters come to life

some chicks in short shorts want photos with them
and the boys are more than happy to oblige

they stand arm’n’arm behind the girls
as if they’d just won world war ii

instead of standing at ground zero
in our current perpetual war

the girls have their friends take pictures in turn
so that they can all get a shot

all of them tan and golden and it’s not even june

with their legs bent and asses facing up toward
the sailor’s crotches and their beaming smiles

it’s too little to say we’ve come to glorify
this kind of militaristic bullshit

it’s woven into the fabric of our national identity now
without any of us knowing the cost

i watch my old man sitting there in the sun
checking his timex and most likely wondering
when my mother will finish with this
and what tourist trap she’ll want to go to next

when he left vietnam they told him
not to wear his uniform on his way back to the states
for fear someone would spit on him or worse

i think about this while toggling between my dad
and the girls and the sailors kvetching like they’re at a club

then i head over toward my mother

catch the reflection of a plane
in the glass of the new world trade center

then go and have a look
at those two glorious holes in the dirt too.


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