Dear John

Her Dear John letter
came as no big
surprise. I absent -
mindedly read it
while field stripping
my M-14 rifle, as I sat
on a foot locker
one night
in the fourth week
of Basic Training. I
knew when she rode
me like a piston - with
her tongue in my ear -
in the front seat of her
little white Corvair on
those old country roads
outside of Indianapolis,
several months before,
that sex was the only
thing she was there for.
And her letter was just
some melodramatic bullshit
about how she was
going to miss me. She
said she hoped I
wouldn’t end up dead,
or with my leg blown off
like her brother,
when he came home
from Nam. After I
reassembled my weapon,
I tore the letter up, and
shinned my boots
until I could see my face
reflected in each one
of them.