Holly Pettit

The Colonel, Thinking Of His Japanese Translator, Writes To His Wife

                        Manila, 1940

I think already I know

it was the flat

onyx eyes of youth

otherwise, how could it be

Anactoria, that after

decades spent in the

making of me—Washington’s

rank only grudgingly settled

on the one willing to accept a desk

in each of this world’s most stagnant


while back at home

they humiliated you, my sparrow

unfit for their parties

yet I, ever their useful tool

still dreamed of making


How is it then, that

in a matter of weeks

a life’s work is shot

and I have killed myself for love

of that boy?