I see nothing but the smoke rise
from her cigarette, and I know
everything about the days of war,
her face shadowed then illuminated
by the blinking neon EATS sign
as she serves coffee.
I watch her wrist and know
about the “miracle metal”
munitions constructed that summer
burned into desert growth.
Passes on and off base with soldiers and
officers alike; her gypsy life shared with showgirls, her name among those placed upon
the fuselages and posters.
He put money in her pocket -
tucking it way down and brushing against her as he tipped his black fedora.
Her cigarette bounced between her teeth,
she became the middle-aged sentimental woman who remembered her part
in keeping the boys happy and motivated.
Now the two veins that crossed her temple,
maps this godforsaken place,
which keeps her forever part of that war
--like the come-hither tip of her lit cigarette or the blood moon, rising over the blue mead lake -- remote and defiled