Little Green Men


Two boa constrictors
wriggled free in his house.
His pets.
They coiled under the blankets,
cold nights, for warmth.
His wife left him.

His X-rays resembled the bionic man,
so many of his bones had been broken.
Too much booze for too long
brought green men to visit.
Unlike his wife, they never left.

Whenever we talked in our weekly
therapy sessions, he sat between me
and the door.
In case of a panic attack, he told me.
A planned escape was essential for any vet
in this new warfare called freedom.

He said I was the only one
who cared about him besides his grandmother.

He probably was right.

When I left Boston,
he was in jail somewhere across the state.
I couldn't say goodbye, so
I wrote him a letter.

I knew it wouldn't be enough.

A colleague said he never came back
to the V.A. again.

I wonder if he still lives with those snakes.
I wonder if he knows I still think about him.

Pris Campbell

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