My Boys

March 18, 2012
He’s a big shot, a hot rod, and he’s drinking himself into a stupor for the third time this week. Cigarettes line his morning to his evening, tracing a path of nicotine and coughs that make his voice match his face, which matches his stained wrinkled shirt (so fresh in the morning). He’s empty, really, he treats his girlfriend like s*** and his dish on the side even worse. Still, I love him. I’m smart enough not to love him for what he is. Instead I love him for what he was, because I can see what the world can’t. They see a corporate shark with too many rings and too few reservations, while I notice the huge gash he made when he sacrificed his heart for success. The drunkard turns to a mourner in my eyes; the chain smoker to a lost boy. I want to fill his hollow, to soothe his burning life with a cooling jet of sincere affection.




They’re men, or at least, they should be. They sit on either sides of an insubstantial wall of rhetoric, hot metal sending hot metal; a message of attrition that cannot be mistaken for anything but an invitation to a fight. Shouts and hollers and curses ring out as molten bullets meet soft flesh and another man falls to the fire of another man across the way and who knows if they both have wives at home? They’re the enemy, and our men know their task—to fight and die for a cause history might take from them, their true motives irrelevant in the overwhelming face of the majority. Their country handed them their weapons and their purpose, and the only thing it wants in return is their lives. They may be our men, but they’re my boys. I can see fear in their eyes where others see glory, and I have a mother’s heart for men far older than me as they collapse wounded and twitch in hospitals and wake up sweating months and miles away in the safety of their own beds.





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