Alibi V.16 No.48 • Nov 29-Dec 5, 2007 
Captain of the coconuts

Feature

The Atheist and the Coconuts

V8 juice continues to save lives in Iraq despite fatalities


This year in Baghdad is a test.
One year beneath the date palms.
One year at Section 5
on the west bank of the Tigris
where blackbirds balance
heavy and thick in the trees
wondering where the meat has gone.
(The flesh of regime critics
was plentiful at Section 5,
and the birds feasted,
swooping down out of the palms
at the sight of raincoats and pails
and black rubber boots,
not scared of the dogs.)

If I make it through these dark days
I will be qualified for something
extraordinary,
like manning a Frigidaire to Mars
(my cheek against the butter dish,
feet tucked in the crisper,
toes curled against
the lettuce heads).

I think the vast emptiness of space,
the slow spinning of my capsule
(the haunting radiance of the controls)
will not unhinge me
after this.

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