Half Truths

This companion of mine, /took a thousand years, /not long enough to detect/ what I’d defiled./How it happened. We were brothers, comrades awkwardly marching, /side by side, in this man’s army./ Our wars were neutral, glazed with honey,/ spending days on end to help/backyard people watch the nuclear sun, /with lewd sneers 39 million miles upward./ Our last stand in brotherhood came in a crowd,/ in summer rain’s sinking feeling./An old woman hung out khaki shirts on clothespins /and welcomed us to our barracks. /We ate cold pizzas , drank coca cola, in a refuge choked with milkweed. -Have you two run against anything like this?( A question from her gouged features.) She meant the hot snowball, the nuclear sun,tampering with a sky above. Other soldiers ,their warped imaginings/ kept to themselves/ inside an illumined kitchen/.-What a relief, I said, /to have a cluster of photos/ the beads of time,they hang like shirts on a clothesline. /A vast potential, a real horror show, /to my surprise, a real experience/this tiger walked between us/ on radio sunrise./-They know plenty, don’t they, all about us, dynamic captive enemies./ I asked her-Do you think the truth really hurts?/-Not at all, she said,-it just doesn’t add up;/ like how Socrates died,/not in the land of the living. /Wise ones form committees . /Then I could tell, I could unmask another, /after this two man war ended/on our blanched planet of anger./ One man makes an empire, two men an army, /three makes for rivals, woman’s work settles the score.

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