In the Old Army Navy
(now that David’s dead)
The elevator, “claptrap” he’d said,
was right at the back of the jacket aisle.
A clerk took us up—
Swung the door open, stood where it soared, the old gym
qua tent room, white and stripped
into us: the high windows
waved and stained, the bleachers
bright and dusty, like large sun-lit rocks.
Holding hands, we could see
dozens of tents (dark red, orange, one emerald)
had been arranged around the room, fluttering
in the fans a little
but holding on, like aspens.
The clerk cleared her throat. You can go in.
She sneezed into her sleeve,
then we were climbing in the tents like children,
on our hands and knees.
Across the room I could hear
owl-sounds he was making. A little touched, goofy,
they spread out in the air there.
In the Old Army Navy first appeared