I’m Dreaming the My Lai Soldier Again by Anne Sexton
I’m dreaming the My Lai soldier again,
I’m dreaming the My Lai soldier night after night.
He rings the doorbell like the Fuller Brush Man
and wants to shake hands with me
and I do because it would be rude to say no
and I look at my hand and it is green
And they won’t come off,
they won’t. He apologizes for this over and over.
The My Laid soldier lifts me up again and again
and lowers me down with the other dead women and babies
saying, It’s my job. It’s my job.
Then he gives me a bullet to swallow
like a sleeping tablet.
I am lying in this bell of dead babies
each one belching up the yellow gases of death
and their mothers tumble, eyeballs, knees, upon me,
each for the last time, each authentically dead.
The soldier stands on a stepladder above us
pointing his red penis right at me and saying,
Don’t take this personally.