Mudlark No. 58 (2015)

“Captain America Gets Arlington Burial”

                      —AP headline, June 30, 2007
MSNBC helps to bury the assassinated super hero
where they planted Union dead after the Civil War:
on the grounds of Robert E. Lee’s home in Virginia
on a rainy Fourth of July, Spider-Man in attendance.
The eulogy quotes John Lennon: God is a concept
by which we measure our pain. And a Beatles song

says we should recognize everything separately alive
outside of this circle as a sort of shared secret identity.
If we’re Spirit, then who we are is in a look of pride
on the faces of the mourners asked to stand in rain 
coming down now like there’s no tomorrow. In his
dream of himself, the starred shield was for show.

So much about being mortal transcends the grave,
the lowering of the handsome casket in the rain,
and doesn’t need a costume or the flag of a cape
or two names by which to call to the part of us
that is always about to answer and step forward
in the silence that falls after the playing of Taps.

Perhaps he died for nothing so often that it’s easy 
to simply lie still in this rubble of less than nothing
that names us like generations of leaves name a tree. 
The will to live has more to do with habit than hope, 
and so it hurts to think that what broke his heart at last
was a nation whose colors he wore like a second skin.

Roy Bentley | Contents 
Mudlark No. 58 (2015)