To Anna Nicole Smith From the Six Soldiers Who Died the Same Day as She
When I enlisted I was told to
get a girl back home.
Not necessarily a girlfriend.
A reason to return. Something
with a pulse, with an ass to slap.
Someone I could admit to never loving.
After we made it to Baghdad,
we hung your picture beside women
in flag bikinis, long-legged tables
for lust. Men did ignoble things to your smile.
You have been lonely men's reasons
to return home for some time.
Funny how many headlines you get
when you've got big tits.
I didn't join for headlines.
But I do wear my uniform to bars
for free drinks. I advertise tattoos at parties
for ass. I am well trained in taking.
So, some of the CNN action you got
for screwing a 90-year-old guy and
overdosing on pain killers might have been expected.
The fourteen surgeries that saved PFC Williams
weren't even reported that day.
Perhaps they should have been breast implants.
My addiction to curves became boldest
at your introduction, Anna. I saw myself
in the funhouse mirrors of your hips.
I married a wife with golden hair thanks to you.
My daughter shares your endangered smile.
I barely heard a bang before the blast
stole my cheeks, the IED's teeth chewing
through my mother's right to have a last glance.
My children knew their father's name,
required no DNA, chose to cry Daddy
when the soldier delivered the news.
Do you think we go to the same after-place?
A waitress, you learned to label anyone
with a big enough tip friend.
What did you later name the men
fondling your G-string?
Did you mistake cameras for eyes
when you invited them in?
Were your small-town parents proud of you too?
Did they complain about how you paid your rent?
My folks never flinched at me pulling triggers
but cried loud as sirens when I was sent to dodge bullets.
How much of your story was airbrushed away?
Thank you for your surgery - the silicon
and white water curves. Thank you
for your clothes tighter than caskets.
Thank you for not touting
your invisible construction, the hope parts
and those annoying thinking zones.
A person should know her role.
You were best at nothing.
Do you know what they make us do here, Anna?
I relate it to bedding a man older than your father's
father. The shouldered flag - my wedding ring,
I have done worse to a people than you ever did
to a gender. Soldiers are boxes of tools built to take
apart what other people spent generations constructing.
On leave, I watched this news broadcast
that painted camouflage as the uniform of saints
and decried you for walking down an aisle
as if we, both, didn't cash checks on the hips of death.