★ From above I saw tens of thousands of boys and girls
eating freeze-dried potatoes with tiny sticks ★ They
reminded me of the hordes of men who poured into
Alaska to build a pipeline and often worked eighteen-hour
days ★ It was grueling ★ but they got free steak
and lobster every night! ★ It’s simply one of those things
I get melancholic about for no particular reason ★ Like
the escalator in the mall that reminds me of when I waited
for the bus ★ I was sorry for Mama because she didn’t
have a car ★ I was sorrier for Papa because he didn’t have
a job ★ I regretted I’d spent the money they’d given me
not on a book but on a Chinese tea set made in Indonesia
★ I didn’t even like tea ★ but the cups and saucers were
so cute and the book was easier to shoplift ★ Now comes
the turn away from the thousands I saw on TV ★ I have
nowhere to go back to ★ so there’s no point in going on
★ Scratch that ★ I have no time to fuck around with near
rhyme ★ On my headstone write ★ whoever thought a
ghost could be portrayed with a sheet was an idiot ★

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About "From BLOOD CHITS"

This poem is from a series titled “Blood Chits,” from the poetry collection The Dangerous Book of Poetry for Planes (Eyewear, 2017).

A “blood chit” is a small card carried by military pilots and crew. The card asks foreign civilians for assistance, and the U.S. government promises to compensate anyone who helps an American service member to survive, evade, resist, or escape hostile territory and to
return to friendly control.

Source: Publication 3-50.3 (classified appendix G) Blood Chit Program, U.S. Dept. of Defense

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