Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The Memories of Clown Soldiers
To maudlin militants
your barracks blown to confetti,
greasepaint camouflage mixes with the tears in your eyes,
because you all remember Nancy,
the Prisoneress of war who entertained you
with visions of her taking off her fish nets,
to sunbathe by moonlight in mud.
You all thought she loved you
for reasons that had nothing to do with reason
but for all your sorrows
you made a pretty unhappy girl smile.
But what does this have to do with bursts from balloon bullets
and the way you pissed colors into black shadows
and learned for weeks at a time to juggle caskets of rain?
It was the way you all kissed each other
when Nancy left you behind, buried
with her fish nets, lipsticks and heels in mud.
Those kisses weren't delicate or violent,
most of all they weren't make believe.
Admit that your funny kisses, Privates,
weren't as empty as the trenches
in your toy chests and
the artificial flower you pull in your pants.
Instead, those kisses made memories
that bursts balloons and even bombs
so that the dances some of you did
to the rattle of hand grenades
made you declare - after the veil lifted -
though your life ended with a curtain,
your body sunk in a curtsy,
your head off somewhere, bent in a bow
- that at least you knew love.
Posted by Tiffany Osedra Miller at 4:26 PM