It started out with humble goals.
To make two parents swell with pride.
Joined the joints of army boots
that finger-painted human blood.
His keepsake was a cameo
from tea cups of a woman’s heart.
It sat beside an M-16 that could have been
a plastic gift from Toys ‘R’ Us
we ordered with our apathy.
Ramp and rampant rust of battle--
fighter planes and helicopters
spun their helpless in the air.
Setting down on innocence,
grass deceits, and flaming huts.
The night watch was a swamp of snakes.
Earth he promised to defend
on bubbles of a bible’s text:
turned by rain to patted rice
imbued with someone else’s plan.
He returned beneath a tarp
in plastic bags as semen speaking
evidence behind a very cruel rape.
His death the kind of guilt dismissed--
like peeing in a river’s womb.