I wish it were a war for oil,
a war of things rather than one of dreams.
Ideas that can not be captured,
a flag’s pattern rather than the flag,
the geography of heaven and
freedom’s sticky price. This war of prayers,
these china pattern reasons,
fine blue tautologies that never
stop or start, ringed like ancient trees,
rifled like the embarrassingly simple barrel
that is sighted sniper sure
upon your quickly beaten heart.
I am at a loss for conflict,
this sleepy homeless house
smudged with the grease of dreaming
bad boys, their lack of grasp
the oil of hand prints left
on the ceiling, the horror joke
“Look Ma: no hands!” lurking
unseen in this timeline of all collisions.
Irony is words wearing out their welcome,
clinging again and again
to the molten smoldering wreck,
to the near black fan of dying blood
like a child pointing an asking finger,
like the exclamation of any standard.
I want to leave behind this prophecy,
I want to leave these wars unwon.
Let me walk into some midnight diner
only to say briefly just what I want,
linger at the counter with my eggs
and toast and coffee, silent
while the old men flirt with their favored
waitress, any plausible excuse
to be huddled together, so far from first principles,
war stories told around a campfire,
excluded from ordinary time,
exhaled like respite from causals.
Like bible begats spat
between the places where
stories have lessons to learn.