Best of the Boards
Matthew David Curtis

To Sgt. Nick Johnson

Creased hands blocking sun,
the old men watch as we ride
down the Phlegethon.

They whisper Allahu
Akbar, while we load guns
and pray Our Father.

Mosques are falling stars
in claws of hot sand. The cold men
have empty eyes.

The Tigris opens—
the palm of a hand accepting
bodies as alms.

Matt needs four things to survive: Mint Mochas, Miki, his computer/typewriter, and someone to listen. Paducah, Kentucky may not be the best place to be 21, but the town and the people of the town are what keep his fingers typing. Matt’s father thinks that freelance writer is another word for hobo, so until Matt runs out of coffee or until Miki runs out on Matt, he is going to embrace his vagrant life-style.