Le Soldat Avec Les Besoins Infantiles

by Scott Hightower

Ah, “Genie out of the Bottle,
Egyptian among the Bulrushes,
Cocktail Naiad among the Cattails,”

his assumptions flamed transportive,
heroic, and bright: after one night . . .
after one spell . . . after one spill

down the rabbit hole, lucky him.
Girlfriend, you were going to be
his ticket, his endless cradle of luck!


The rest of his days, I was going
to be whipping up wild honey
and cinguale after hustling home

the proverbial bacon? I don’t think so!
Actually, he wants a mother!
Would that he could parse his own

infantile fantasy with a bit more insight
rather than cauterize the genuine
intimacy we might have found together.

Him going on about his “hog,” his guns,
how none of his buddies were hippy dippy,
his own latent willingness to one day

crack open The Joy of Cooking
or develop some interest in a worthy
handicraft—leather-work, shoeing

horses, gardening . . . macramé.
On and on, and all the time it
being just a racy one night stand!

Mon Dieu! Afterwards, I knew
he would resort to grumbling
from some perverse shadow

of his own masochistic imagination;
that there would be a dramatic
monolog about being abandoned.

Would that he grasped that each
of us does well but to serve up
to the other the most ordinary joy!

The whole undulating world
is complete and florid;
is a single rhapsodic

motion. And, as you
and I well know—his
own gorgeous, archaic

whiny self-indulgence
included—everywhere, there
are sweet songs worth singing,

there are sad songs to listen to;
everywhere, there are songs;
songs, songs: beautiful songs.

Published on October 4, 2010