Hangs on a lamp on my desk,
revealing my serial number,
blood type, and religion.
I have the letter “Y” since
I’m not a “P’ (protestant),
“C” (catholic) or “H” (Hebrew).
When the artillery shell
burst in front of me,
I saw stars I’d never seen before.
They blocked the view of a holograph
of my head lying in a bombed-out crater.
I can still hear the Quartermaster
Graves Registration guys spreading
love everywhere as they round up
the dead bodies around me.
My teeth hurt clamped down in lockjaw
on my dog tag. I’m heaved into a truck
more dead than alive.
The men had to consult our chaplain
to find out how to bury me.
The Chaplain laughed—
advising them to post a question mark
where a Cross or Star of David
would normally appear.
I make the sign of the cross
even though I’m an agnostic.