The glass of fresh-squeezed OJ, the bowl of steel-cut oatmeal littered with golden raisins and walnuts, the deep black coffee colored with cream. And the books of war poetry: Brian Turner, Yusef Komunyakaa, Bruce Weigl. Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam. I look into my empty coffee cup and wonder about the cold sweet water, the betel-black smiles, Nixon’s Christmas bombing, the way the world turns for the soldier shot down amidst elephant grass and the man who was once a boy on the coast of Oregon, where a beached sperm whale died and was then removed by dynamite.
I load the dishwasher with rinsed dishes and think about the boy who lost his father, who watches the news, who learns nothing from a world so far from all the fighting. How no one in his school understands, except the girl whose mother has just been deployed for the third time. I wash the soaking oatmeal pot and consider the complexity of war, the way anapest and aubade, caesura and synecdoche, image and irony fall into place, just as thousands of miles away, men and women fall to the ground, a final act, no breakfast to follow.