Hecamedé loves Nestor a little like a daughter
or a waitress at the Wall Street Diner
I follow Nestor following the man
watering perennials at Wal-Mart.
The gods decide who we will be and we stay there
like Elvis impersonators. Nestor talks about war,
says to the man watering the astilbe,
I still serve Nestor his mess. Good Gallo red wine
mixed with grated goat-cheese, white barley meal.
It no longer quenches his thirst for war.
He watches cable news,
another bus blown up, another cave, another country.
But I can’t help loving
a man who recites the “Prologue to Canterbury Tales.”
He says to the man watering the pansies
looking back like the next generation,
If you hit a man just right on the forehead
you can knock both his eyes out I know
I watched Menelaus hit Pisander then
we watched his eyes watching us where they fell
crying I think they could still see even Pisander
was looking at his eyes from lonely sockets
I can’t remember any sound.
I serve him Walla Walla sweets with his wine for relish,
barley cakes, honey like clover running down his hands.
Old men from the VFW come over,
watch talk TV, argue with the news,
men blown with opinion like puffer fish.
He says to the man now showering maiden
grass, Japanese sedge, blue oats,
You had to be there to hear your own
heart see the beauty of blood running blue
ridges across the top of your hands
like distant hills where they shoot at you in the night
and sometimes the gun-lights are so pretty
you forget to fire back but some Ajax-kind
of soldier jumps up on the bunker yelling
‘come and get me you sons-a-bitches’ and then
you remember where you are
what you’re supposed to be doing so you shoot
until morning hoping you live until the copters like aliens
come pick you up only you’re the alien when you
get to Hawaii drinking tiny bubbles wearing a lei.
I say I’m ready to go home.
The watering guy at Wal-Mart
gives a slight salute to his red baseball hat,
says have a nice day.