I thought I'd tell you why you don't see me.
Twenty years ago my friends came back
From Viet Nam, most of them, and most
Of them were changed. Some had found a knack

For finding trouble. Some had found a way
To keep the world from touching them at all—
When they washed off the Mekong's waters they
Were clean, no friend of theirs named on the Wall.

A few had even found themselves. Steve said
He'd never lost a guy in his platoon,
Not in Laos, Cambodia, the DMZ,
Not even in Saigon. One afternoon

The war was over, he was at my place,
And I was at work, and he was alone
And jonesing, and I found the needle, spoon,
Bag, and empty body when I came home.

You die if you want to. It isn't hard.
It's messy and smells bad, but you won't care.
I'm sure the funeral will be what it should.
I'll send poppies. But I won't be there.