» Poetry

Trap Door Out of the War

While higher-ups gave the suspect a spirited drubbing,
the guard stood just without, encroached upon
by a nebulae of false assassins.

Flailing until a handled door lay exposed,
he tugged it open, entering an under-earth oasis
of tropical cocktails, hula girls, a certified financial advisor
with fingers pressed together in a smart-seeming way.

Vibrant drinks clogged the soldier’s thoughts,
leaving behind a ghost-colored mustache.
Letters of endorsement reached him by certified mail

and he wondered what fate he was being commended for.
The hula girls drifted around with such absent-minded
dexterity they often were confused for weather.
The war prattled on somewhere upstairs.

Wristwatches were being synchronized in far peninsulas of the earth
and eighteen different people, at that very moment,
were voicing displeasure over the spearfish flambé.

Dan Pinkerton

Dan Pinkerton’s poems have appeared in New Orleans Review, Indiana Review, Boston Review, Subtropics, Willow Springs, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Sonora Review, and Canteen. He has published reviews in American Literary Review, Shenandoah, Chattahoochee Review, and Pleiades and his fiction in Quarterly West, Crazyhorse, Cutbank, Northwest Review, Arts & Letters, Washington Square, Natural Bridge, North American Review, and the Best New American Voices anthology. He has received an AWP Intro Journals award and numerous Pushcart Prize nominations, and his fiction manuscript was a finalist in the Flannery O’Connor Award competition.