Nestor Still Loves War

           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.