Lead Pipes and Teeth

we don't think much about lead pipes and teeth

all the story in the swing
the hero who believes his rifle is the steed promised him by all those
conversations with the heavens
in which he described the sunset of dreams
the glory and the death
you walk one degree off for a hundred years and you
forget where you meant to be going
what it costs to be the story
that it costs a family
that it costs a birth and a rearing and that box of
a mother's ten thousand wishes
ashed like the garbage end of a cigarette, we don't think
about lead pipes and teeth
bombing raids and madness and how our wishes change
somehow, without us wishing them to

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