Two Poems by Luther Jett

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War Story

Here is the book

with torn pages.

Only half remains

to be deciphered.

And here is the house

with burnt rooms,

and a few fading photos

scattered across the floor.

And here, here — Forgive me

but these are my bones.

This is the face I was using.

Wrap them all tenderly.

Sing of me as you sleep.

THE BUSBOY

(Juan Romero, 1951-2018)

Fifty years gone, I still can’t sleep.

When I took up that platter

of sandwiches to his room,

the Senator greeted me,

thanked me, shook my hand.

I felt like an American that night.

Came to this country just

a boy, ten years earlier,

dust of the Sonora still

hot between my toes.

That was my first job, scarce

out of high school.

I’ll never forget how kind

he was, how like a friend.

Bobby.

Twenty-four hours later,

I knelt there, cradling his head

on the cold kitchen floor

while his blood and brains spilled out.

I couldn’t wash my hands for days.

Luther Jett writes: I am a native of Montgomery County, Maryland. My poetry has been published in numerous journals, including The GW Review, ABRAXAS, Beltway, Innisfree, Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review, and Main Street Rag. My work has also appeared in several anthologies, including “Secrets & Dreams, published by Kind of a Hurricane Press and “My Cruel Invention,” published by Meerkat Press.

My poetry performance piece, Flying to America, debuted at the 2009 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington D.C. My full-length manuscript of the same name was a runner-up in the 2018 Concrete Wolf Louis Award competition, and in the Washington Prize contest, sponsored by Word Works Press.

My chapbook, “Not Quite: Poems Written in Search of My Father” was released by Finishing Line Press in the fall of 2015. A second chapbook, “Our Situation” was released by Prolific Press, (Summer, 2018).

Image by Hal Jespersen (User:Hlj) at en.wikipedia [Public domain]

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