at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
by Joschua Beres

an old man who couldn't stop talking about 'Nam in 68
told me and my buddy that we could never leave war.

never really.

"Just parts of you!"

the rest will stay
inside the wet guts
of road-kill donkeys
with 150lbs of C-4
stuffed inside.

you will stay
in the tattered shoes
of the kids on bikes
who got plastered onto the side of your Humvee
on the road to Kandahar.

in the guard tower over War-Horse gate,
where mad bull car bombs
charged through the drape of rain
at your matador gate every 30 minutes


cars into gates.
bodies into sky.
people falling

you will stay
in the cul-de-sac where a grenade
fell out of the tree onto your hood

and you're heart will break
when you beg to turn around
and melt that effing tree!
but nobody can hear you

yes, yes. you'll stay.

in the moment when you
feel your truck ignite
into guerrilla warfare trampoline action.
hot enough to melt your tongue to your teeth
and vaporize Level 13 armored windows

in the card you send your vegetable buddy
because all he can do is grunt and drool
so you say "Don't worry. Somebody remembers"
in the Alcatraz of the 8 o'clock news.

I lean to his ear and say:

you can be a werewolf
worn down by full moon madness.
you can fall off the earth
because its much smaller than you at night.
it's a maximum security prison
guarded by lunatics.

he says:

and understands perfectly.

he knows
that the tar pit behind my eyes
is smoking,

the name on my birth certificate
reads: 75% dead. 25% Good luck.

and that I am definitely getting out of here.

because when I think of you
I am Sullenberger piloting flight 1549
declaring a level III all hands emergency
trying to land on your Hudson

"If I can just get there..."

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