we hold hands
our voices rising
with white breath
hot as flames
toward a certain heaven.
long after Christmas has passed
we will still be here
and goodwill toward men.
carry each other on our backs
build a final fortress
or fill the hollow mouths of our brethren
but what we will not ever do is
and what should be.
Archive for the Len Kuntz Category
We went as brothers
from different towns to this one,
meeting at the memorial,
our pasts broken down by
slab after slab of gray granite.
People moved like solemn shapes
no one speaking.
Black rain pecked our skins
but those were tears on Charlie’s face.
There might have been a million names.
There might have been but one.
War is an unscrupulous host.
A young boy my son’s age
Dragged his fingers across rows of engraved letters
I thought my brothers might be angered by the child’s act
but instead my eldest grinned and said,
“That’s why I went.
For those born later
they would only know it as the bad war
the one they made so many movies about.
At the time, protesters received more attention
and history may never right that wrong
or the ignorance of a new generation
but to the men
to the women
to the souls who went there,
I bow down
and I say,
“God bless you.”
His brother took him to a pool hall,
bought him tequila and beer chasers,
farted out loud and
commented over the texture and vibrato of each.
His brother laughed at anything—
his own jokes,
the old geezer with a chin stuck inside his mug,
the skipping juke box saying, “You give love a bad naye-naye-naye-naye.”
This place had the classic arcade games—Pac Man and Space Invaders.
Around 2:00 am,
Stucky threw them the keys and said to close up,
as if it was something he’d done a lot of times before.
He studied the homemade tattoos on his brother’s forearms.
Everything was short, choppy and to the point,
no word or ink mark wasting time on being clever:
Old Glory Hole
The little gray bug men
marched across the screen in neat rows.
His brother shot them down with his finger beating the sweaty red button.
He killed as many as he could.
He seemed happy.