Laramie (Most likely)

One of the other kids that lived down at the munitions dump
I believe his name was Laramie
Would go hunting out in the Soviet scrap metal
For smokeable remnants of Russian cigarettes

He was always talking about
The crux of the argument
While I preferred to discuss the argument’s shell
The shell was the story of our lives and times
The crux was something different
That I don’t claim to know anything about

Apparently he was a gymnast
When the state was his guardian
Before this
Back in the colorful, functional
Most likely it’s true
His arms are gigantic and gone all soft
And his mattress fragment smells like souring human meat

The crux of the argument, he was saying,
While we were sifting through the dirt mound
Of the dump’s south mouth
For flecks of army-rationed pretzels
The crux of the argument
Was something about the middle class luxury of indecision

We came across a hoof in the dirt
Some kind of hoof
A cloverleaf of pencil lead
Attached to no leg
This was after the days of stray stones
It could only be a hoof

That being the shell of the argument
It’s how you find your mother in a train station
Where every head is shaved

It’s the sentinel smell in the air
Of coming acid rain
It’s the gravity of consciousness
Rolling down a hill

Laramie was a gymnast
His arms are bags of water
This is after the after
Beyond an argument’s end
In the weapon parts and dirt

We chewed on the hoof
Taking turns in the fog
It’s just a recent memory,
That’s all

- Eric Arnold