Never ask big city cops for directions since all they do is point straight ahead & convince you it's the only way to go & the thing is even though you know it's not enough information you follow it wondering if maybe this time you got it right & they gave it to you straight & if you just kept heading the same way you always were, you might find a place so clean & so sunlit & so safe you could just toss a blanket on the ground right there & invite passers-by to join you for a small square of watercress sandwich & a cup of chamomile tea while you shared pictures of children waving at everyone.
Jimmy Pappas served during the Vietnam War training South Vietnamese soldiers. A retired teacher, he was a finalist in the 2017 Rattle Poetry Contest, where he won the 2018 Readers Choice Award. His book Scream Wounds contains poems based on veterans' stories. He won the 2019 Rattle chapbook contest for Falling off the Empire State Building. His interview with Tim Green is on Rattlecast #34.