N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 0 9
the idling Black Hawk helicopter thumping,
the blades above drowning the world,
belongings of four dead soldiers.
an American contractor killed,
a suicide bombing in downtown Baquba,
35 miles northeast of
"To feel the weight of your comrade,
to lift the dead body of a fellow American,
who can prepare for that?"
Silence of the horror—waking up to reality.
A technician for the Missouri National Guard,
conducting military’s a “hero mission”,
retrieving from the battlefield
the body of an American soldier or a dead contractor,
with ritual and respect, from instance of death
to the moment bodies are loaded onto a cargo plane.
Cataloging the names, transporting the personal belongings,
40 soldiers pay their last respects
before the bodies are flown to a base in Balad,
On one mission, a chopper and a second Black Hawk
carried six dead American soldiers,
an impossible fit if their bodies had not been so broken
from the bomb blasts.
I woke up to reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poems
written in memoriam for Allen Ginsberg
speaking in ethereal tongue about an ethereal being
I began asking: Allen, what do you think
of our predicament, our petty dictators
as you did in the past about the Persian Gulf War;
your inquisitive mind eager to learn, urging me
to tell you my tale as we go shopping at the Good Will,
searching for white shorts and shirts, pots and pans and utensils,
as we eat your home-cooked vegetarian lunch in your apartment?
What would you write about the Patriot Act
my naked American Buddhist
gay millionaire poet
What would you feel about 9/11
and those Americans thirsty for revenge
the invasion and occupation of
you who admire my poetic heritage
“The rich poetry of Ferdowsi, Khayyam, Rumi, & Hafez”
What would you think of bombing
the looting of
from its museums while American army stood by?
With its bombs and fighter jets.
What would you have written,
the great political bard of