Sunday, August 11, 2019

The War Makes Everyone Lonely by Graham Barnhart

The War Makes Everyone Lonely
My sister’s been receiving a lot of calls 
from strangers. This is how she learns 
her number is listed on an escort site.  
Normally she talks about her fiancé, her dog,
what they think I must not want—really, to hear.
Now these guys keep calling, asking for Elisha.
And I’m sitting there, in Afghanistan, 
in a little plywood room painted red 
hung with pictures of the other guys’ wives.
I can hear a wind in ribbons through the concertina.
and Allen’s boots on the roof 
as he brushes snow off the dish,
and two privates debating the odds of an attack 
since it’s already two a.m. and cold as shit, 
and my sister is wondering if maybe she needs a lawyer,
and I’m thinking: What about Elisha?  
She must be home, I imagine, counting hits 
against the number of times the phone hasn’t rung. 

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