tagNon-Erotic PoetryDenizens: Charlie

Denizens: Charlie

byThe Mutt©

Charlie was a decorated Navy Seal.
That's just what he'd tell you, just that way.
Couldn't talk about it, he'd tell you, for hours on end,
classified, ya understand, but the stories he could tell...
Like pushing a Swift Boat up the Mekong mud,
once he had heard about them on the TV.
Charlie got promoted from barnacle scraper
whenever he walked through the doors of a bar.

His crew-cut was the gray of Biloxi sand,
and you hoped that the stains on his pants were mustard,
and his back was bent by the weight of lost promise,
and the girl in Virginia with eyes like a saint.
And oh he had been such a handsome young man,
and he'd had any girl that he wanted, ya understand,
but the girl that he needed had broken his heart,
leaving a hollow he filled with cheap beer.

And no one believed a word Charlie would say,
except about beer and the Saint Louie Cards.
There's only two beers, he'd say; Falstaff and Root,
and you can't find a Falstaff to save your damned soul.
If you bought him a Pabst he would tell you the tale
of the quick cup of coffee he'd had in the show,
of Dizzy Dean and Stan the Man, ya understand,
and the time he lost a ground ball in the sun.

He'd pound his left hand on the bar so hard you'd wince,
and cut your eyes to the stubs where his fingers weren't,
and the pink pork skin, stretched tight on the bones,
and the white-line scars, like a road map of hell.
His thumb went to plate glass in Norfolk, frost bit off three more.
His middle finger he left in Hollywood,
when Lupe Velez, The Mexican Spitfire,
surprised him by crossing her legs.

Gotcha, he'd shout, and laugh 'til he coughed blood,
and that was worth another Pabst, don't ya think?
Cos it's late in the month, ya unnerstan,
and the V. A. got his check screwed up anyway.
Black Ops and Wetwork, no records kept, yunnerstan?
Fuck a bunch of Navy... the thanks I get,
cos Charlie don't need nothin' from nobody,
'cept a beer and a smoke, and maybe a short ride home.

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byThe Mutt© 14 comments/ 4947 views/ 0 favorites

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