Medal Winner

Accept him afterwards,
wedged upright on a sofa,
tunneling the sunset:
nights aren’t night enough.
Why this is so you will
not fully understand;

he can’t explain himself:
Look how hot, bleeding
turmoil’s been transfused
by cooler, kinder stuff


              “You sad sacks will become rocks!”
a Drill Instructor, Basic Training

Speak, Diamond.
Does a stone cry?
Do tears of dust
mar this white eye?

And does stone seek
some vain excuse
to prove abrasion’s
brilliant use,

so suffering
may …

Ernest in Elysium

Why put the barrel in your mouth?
Why not the solar plexus, toward the heart,
or to your temple or one ear?
Why choose the palate to be burst apart
before you toppled over dumb-
struck from your favorite partridge …