The Intrepid

*Photo: Enrique Rivas

The Intrepid

All he cares about are the jets


Pow! Pow!

Man Down!


Because he is a boy

He knows nothing

Of the dilemma


I imagine a way

To explain

History through fiction:


I consider a false tale

Of a grandfather who did sail,

A navy mechanic on the bench,

He saved flying Bombers with his Wrench.

He defended us from the Kamikazes

While others wrangled with the Nazis.


She once valiantly ruled the Pacific,

Turned warm clear waves

With happy bright fishes,

Dark with the blood of Axis villains.


What a truly magnificent vessel.

But back to the saga:


My fictional granddad

Would meet a slender lad,

A petty officer above the rest

Whose camaraderie he loved the best

Until the day the sun empire

Ignited the lad’s funeral fire.


No. Too sad a story

To waste on a boy

Who cares nothing

About the dilemma.

Instead it should be sweet

And hetero-normative:


The lad will be in disguise

For actually she was no guy

But my Nanna, a woman with

A warrior’s code

Who wanted a chance to carry her

Country’s load.

Her breasts were bound

Until it was love that she found.

In the epic’s climax

Granddad, himself was about to—

A real World War II vet.

I better not.

This ancient, dying, once-soldier

Would know how impossible

My fiction really is

That my brain is the mush

Of romance novels

And cartoon women.

Now in the pizza establishment

I can see the truth:

She is shackled,

Surrounded by aluminum jellyfish

And seagulls fighting over paninis,

And no man, living or ghost soldier,

Will understand my dilemma.

Hudson River, you do not deserve her.