Daniel Bosch

At Arlington and Boys
December 18, 2023 Bosch Daniel

At Arlington


After the gunfire, the tact of “Taps.”


Then silence, as in a seminar
when our professor gamely disinters
an insight she’d had as an undergrad—
how the form of the poem avers
the poet’s problematic drive
to manage Thanatos, or Eros, or
the Political Unconscious—
always some abstract concept,
never an anecdote, no facts.
Then O
how those airmen, those Marines, those
sailors make “triangles” out of planes,
folding Old Glory over and over
and above the ashes of our mom and dad.


(The packing slip from Federal Express
said you’d refused the option to insure.)


Then the commodore handed me my flag,
And I said, “Thank you, sir.”





Hermetic Mercury and mercurial Hermes
Lie on their bellies gently to preen
Each other’s ankle-wings with tweezers
And tin-tined combs of polyethylene.


Mercurial Hermes’ quicksilver fingers
Loosen hermetic Mercury’s poured-pewter lips;
The sounds mercurial Mercury makes mirror
Polychrome Hermes’ hermetic fingertips.


The platinum records these boys record
As, ankles crossed, their thermometer-stiff
Caducei idly listen for
Wingèd words boys never lift!


Daniel Bosch teaches writing and literature at Emory University in Atlanta. This spring he will offer a course in the history of the line of verse in English, 700-1700-1700.