Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Lost Pilot

You sit in the cockpit still
upright in the May Day position.
Hand on the stick, pistol rusted, shoes too big.
The watch on your wrist bones stopped.
Trees and brush cling to the tangled fuselage.
Birds and snakes inhabit the tail.
Where a shout might have been
a gaping hole in the calendar says
you are seventy one years old. 

Fifty years you sat in the cockpit
your nosedive buried, your war over and no one told you.
No one knew where you went.  You just sat there.
Skin rotted off your once handsome face.
Insects ate your flesh, everybody went home.
Your sweetheart stopped crying
and became a grandmother.

In this monument to absurdity, insanity
and silence, may you be in some sweet place
where if there is such a thing
it was a good war that you helped win.
God knows it should have been.
May you be with your new lover on a beach at sunrise
your arms stretched, your chest to the East
free of this endless killing, a rich smile
of famous teeth, wisdom, money to go around. 
May you know, if only for an instant
a truth of your dream. 

Now, I step across this world to your Indonesian grave
reach into the cockpit and take your yellow bony hand in mine.
Your fragile history crumbles.
Flecks of you melt on my skin.