Just close your eyes and you’re gone—1, 2, 3—
as easy as closing the door to your life
with a wife who can’t tolerate constructive criticism.
Facing reality every day is like training for the Olympics.
Everything hurts—chronic back pain, and tooth aches
that cost too much to fix when liquor is quicker,
and the chore of visiting relatives more dead than alive.
Living in fear of the light going out is always worse
than facing the unknown—and an ingrown toenail
that keeps me up all night, and those rheumy eyes
that can no longer see the TV or ears that can’t hear
what’s being said any more since my ears were blown out
during the Bloody Gulch Massacre of the Field Artillery Battalion
when prisoners were taken and murdered by the North Koreans.
Someone should let the VA know their hearing aids don’t work,
since everyone still keeps yelling at me as if I was stone-cold deaf.
Underground, all I will have to do is listen to the silence.