Dawn McGuire

Ecce Homo

He keeps trying to bring 
the Classics back to life
for his son. You’re like Oedipus,
he says. You can’t help 
what you’re doing. But a man’s 
still accountable.
His son listens as long as he can.
They wait on the brittle bench
at the detox clinic.
What use are the blues?

Notes bent on a guitar
made from the wood-hard 
veins in a son’s arms.
Now he shoots up
in his feet.

He nods off as his father
starts the intell on Antigone:
It’s like no soldier 
left behind, you know? 
he murmurs. 

Khe Sanh ’68.
His son, Bagram 2012,
pawned his father’s 
Purple Heart last Tuesday 
for some high-end
Afghani smack.
There’s a tragedy 
a minute, Nietzsche says.
He’s next on the list
after the Greeks.

You know what a man would give. 

Every donate-able 
organ. His life’s last glance.
to know what to fix.
To know how. 
Not even why.