Jan 26, 2013

He Probably Didn't Notice My Iraqi Eyebrows

Shortly before last call, I step out
to the beer garden, join
the circles of smokers puffing
up into the January Montana night,
snowy mountains surrounding us.

I bum a Camel from one guy
and after I hand back his light,
his friend starts talking about
killing Arabs.

Blonde kid,
looks like he’s probably
drinking on a fake ID, says,
“I wanna be back there.
I’m only here ‘cause
some brown motherfucker
put a bomb down
and I said
No No No No”—

on the icy ground in the middle of their circle,
he eyes the bomb,
puts his hands down
as if they’ll keep the blast from happening—

“and I got these scars
all up on my wrists
and on my hips.”

He spots me
outside their circle,
listening to him.
Points at me—

“Yeah, just say it to me.”

He moves quickly to me,
“Say it to me
one time, brother—
Fuck Afghanistan.”

And I would have said it
right then, no hesitation,
had his friend not grabbed him,
apologized, and
pulled him back inside.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is a really complicated poem. I love the way you merge timelines, with the bomb right in the middle of the circle. Very intense.