Increasingly forgetful,

my friend can’t remember

who he is or where he is

as he gets lost in heroic reveries.

He’s convinced he has a gun,

but it’s just his extended

forefinger and upright thumb.

Whenever he passes a bank,

he practices pointing his gun

at a smiling guard at the door

who thinks he’s just saying, “Hi!”

A Korean War veteran,

he thinks he held back

the Chinese at the Yalu River,

allowing his company to retreat

while he manned a Browning

.50 caliber machine gun,

like the hero in his favorite movie:

“Guadalcanal Diary.”

When it grows dark

on late afternoons,

he points his gun

at his head.