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tearing the rag off the bush again
The Front: Bush at War: Laura PDF E-mail

In the headlights of the parked cars. Saw Laura. Drinking peach schnapps and orange juice. Cheeks flushed. Singing. And turning
circles. In Midland. Those gravel pits. Those dry hot nights.

Me a child of guns. On the ranch. Hunting quail. Also turkeys. Wild and domestic.

Asked her to the dance. But no. She was going with that other boy. The boy who died.

And this pain in my throat.

Last night saw her crying. Lights off. Blanket to chin. Face to wall. That pretense. So I knew.

I should stop. Writing on these pads. This. And this. But I’m choking. On my snack.

I brought her the card. From the funeral. For the boy who died. She didn’t dare. Show her face. Either this will bring us together. Or destroy us. She said. The whole town destroyed. Or brought together. To be more perfect. Than we were.

She taped postcards. In phonebooks. The newspapers. The flags. And those children. Somewhere. Staring. Somewhere.

Those days I drank. So much. When mom called. Me down to breakfast. I’d hear her voice. At school.

I brought Laura flowers. Books. And little animals. Leapt from pine cones. And pipe cleaners.

She cut picture. From library books. And pasted them.

This pain. Gets so bad. That for fifteen minutes at a time. I forget. Then it comes back. I’m choking. On my snack.

When she drove me. To the clinic. We drank Jack. From cups. She said that’s. It.

And saved me.

I went to war. To destroy the. Creosote bushes. Staked the desert. With kite string. And yardsticks. And burned the oldest. Clonal colony. Then in balloon brigades. On rolling green. Enemy encampments. We dropped. Charges. While men below. Guided. Us with kite string.

I keep blacking out. It’s giving me a. Headache.

She saved me. From the drink. I saved. Her from the boy. The one who died. She was drinking. But only. For the boy. I was drinking. For me.

I hear her. Treading above through. Our home. Find these notes. Love. And again. Save me.
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