In the bathroom or kitchen, the drain, grated in. Water passes
the sound of a flushing toilet opposite the monument,
you were in your suit and fedora and ‘The Doctor’ beat back the barber’s cuts
and as if we weren’t merely civilians, servants to whispers,
or sheep on ships. As if accepting death were beyond
our years and not knowing that voice was less frightening, the dark less dark.
In the laundry I accept the pelican’s death because I will die,
and to not be scared of dying is to say little, and be little,
and to spin your way into that ancient simile – local jobs
are like foreign casualties; you never know when the load is ready,
when the spin cycle is finished, I tell myself, you can channel
McNamara’s hollow soul, then your bigger slice of death entombs me.
You’re willing to build the war machines, and to send the planes
tanks and drones, but I bet you wouldn’t get in the ring with Ali.