you are proof of many things
worth remembering, among them
that war is a cloud of smoke
and guts hungry enough
to claim thousands of villages,
horses, unborn geniuses, even entire
libraries, but not everything.
I have never understood
clutching a flag to my chest
or what an enemy is
but we can both agree
that your being a veteran
and not wedged beneath a block
of stone or worse, lost in a pile
of unknowns, is a wonderful thing.
You wander into a diner in Crabtown,
Pennsylvania, drink some coffee
and eat a lime-green wedge of pie.
Maude the waitress approaches
with her golden hair in a bun.
This poem has no end
For the Faint of Heart
When you return from the asylum
be sure to gaze at the trees
covered in snow. When the train
enters the forest, ask the waiter
for tea with milk. In the dark
take seriously the lesson
of fluttering hands. If it is offered
take the class they call Ornithography,
for it will surely teach you something
about love. On the subject of love
I have only a single observation—
if you love a grapefruit you cut it open
and eat its flesh. Take my advice.
Take it home to the ghost you love.
Slip into bed. Snuff out the lights.
Ben Mirov grew up in Northern California. He is the author of GhostMachine (Caketrian, 2010) and the chapbooks Vortexts (SUPERMACHINE, 2011), I is to Vorticism (New Michigan Press, 2010) and Collected Ghost (H_NGM_N, 2010).