BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR HOUSING By Aaron Graham

The Rising Phoenix Review

BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR HOUSING

One week before deployment,
we staged his wedding
behind India company’s barracks.

In the smoke-pit, his seabag
is stacked with issued gear:
shit-paper, load bearing vests.

One week before deployment,
she carried a bouquet of sand
in a Coors Lite can down the aisle.

The wedding party was a fire-team;
with the best man in a wife beater,
his bride walked the beach in a Goodwill dress

One full week before deployment,
he had a thought: combat pay
with dependents is twice as much

In the smoke-pit, his seabag
is stacked with issued gear:
diesel drums, canteen cups, flack jackets.

The whole week before deployment,
Their couch quartered a shit-canned
best man a honeymoon went unused.

In the smoke-pit, a seabag stacked
with issued gear: Malaria pills
anthrax vaccine and typhus, face paint.

for deployment five-man flocks of shitbirds—
load stacked gear: trauma plates and three…

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