Baghdad, California

On Barker, a house with sad windows
wakes and joins sunflowers
nitpicked by ebony-winged birds.
A crow scared rises suddenly between leaves
imagining smoke is shape and segment.

His helmet is sand and green bleeding
into stucco siding. He rolls his gun into
the paper pupil of Saddam’s poster-eye.
M-4 sunlight scopes the evening—
the too quiet march of streets
and ditches—
the too steady hand of the rigid man
pointing inevitably up, being torn apart
by dogs for the third day in a row.