‘Walked with Their Feet, Warred with Their Arms’

So a kid enlists in the Air Force to complete his education
in the etymological fine points of racial slurs

Two mourning doves and a gray squirrel
giving each other hell in a naked elm

If you try you can make yourself reverent
as a kind of aesthetic play

Pollen in a vial, the vial in a box
the box in a painting called Heart

Choose Rutting Stags in the Hill-fog
bombs in cartons marked Do Not Drop

A few square inches of skin exposed to wind

Pocket-knife lies open across the page
and he says he hasn’t forgotten his leg

though he hasn’t seen it in seven months
It’s one-two-three and a slur

says the dancing master
(Flowers flooding the rubble field)

For the iron is only in the black rock
which falls very prettily, in parts

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