But if they do

kicking with Marcy in the alley
buds in ears blasting Beatles
but still got a kick
sweating like a couple smoked pigs
this heat’s a bitch
in another week
Marcy goes to Iraq
or somewhere
she’s a volunteer
my life is black and blue
she told them
they’ll feed me
house me
college me
they told her
she signed up in a snap
in another week
just me and the alley
and the dogs
the dogs sniffing
coffee grounds and orange rinds
all the crap the people pile here
rank’s got a whole new meaning
over there, Marcy says
she says
a lot of things
but I believe her when
she says
they can’t kill her
Saddam’s the has-been
she says
but, she says, but
if they do,
dump me in the alley
dogs need the meat.

—Tony Press, Palo Alto, CA