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Last Flight Out From the War Zone

ISSUE:  Spring 1987
for Bruce Weigl

A long flight back—I, too,
fear the flight more than anything—
and then we’ll be humping the boonies again,
stalking the past for a sign.
Isn’t it strange how it never ends?

I like your resolves—clear and neat
like a compass and map in articulate hands:
to get out of the South, forever;
never to kill yourself; to value
the moments of the modest present.
We have lost so much, you and I;
it is better to keep things simple.

Dear friend, we must cling to what little
the war didn’t take: our voices,
the singular vision, that hard sleep
from which you jump
as if you’ve seen something.
You have. And I have.

So listen when I say this:
take care of your beautiful life,
and trust me. The long flight,
the long hump into the gathering night,
what do they matter?
We will walk point together.


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