dave harrity

Untitled Document

After the offensive, General Nguyn Ngc Loan moved to Virginia

& opened a pizza parlor.

                                                                The following summer, some boys came back to find

towns unlike the ones they’d left. In the center of town, each began to say things

to feel like citizens again, back & forth:


                                                You ate lunch yet, man? Can’t believe it’s November already.


Stories of soldiers were made of images from across several seas—fatigued

row houses & wincing, firm stock of the arm & grip. Many feared return

as much as arrival, shutting their eyes

                                                                to lose the single tender memory

of war: concubines brushing hair back, fondling a final goodbye.


For months at a stretch, Loan didn’t much go out; he married

& ignored the newspapers. He lost count of his debts, no longer coherent

about the sincerity of time’s passing.

                                                                But starlings wove a nest in the shrubs

by the front door & sang for patrons who walked through it.


                                                Can’t either man. Nope—there’s a new place down the block.


Loan tethered himself to his work again, but absent

violent transfiguration or exposé—a life of hypnagogic kneading,

an ovened, primitive restlessness.

                                                                                The name of every month a portmanteau

whose roots he didn’t learn before dying. 



Dave Harrity’s writing has appeared in Verse Daily, Forklift, Ohio, Copper Nickel, Palimpsest, Memorious, The Los Angeles Review, Softblow and elsewhere. His most recent book is Our Father in the Year of the Wolf (Word Farm, 2016). He is a recipient of an Emerging Artist Award and an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council.