Dawn McGuire

American Dream with Exit Wound

She looks at belts differently now
Not at the grain, the tool work

what size for which waist
She looks at where the holes are

One punched in with a nail file
or peeler, dug out with a stick

blunt but strong enough
to grind out a hole in leather

A hole too close to the buckle

She looks at his belts now for
a hole too close to the buckle

Belt, tourniquet, cinch—
The cubital vein pops up

blue as a bruise
a swollen lip

The sting is brief 

And all that is unendurable
melts into air

Hectoring voices

Enemies pierced

Achilles at last asleep in his tent 
his pillow wet

the warm, blue Aegean
slipping over it