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Rainbow Army

Not long ago
our President faced
some hot, hot heat
from those who opposed
his belief that homosexual men
should be allowed to serve in
the nation's armed forces.
People made gurgling noises
Some folks fairly danced in aphasic anger
Then they appeared on TV
Not me, though.  Oh no.
I thought, Why not?
In fact, why not create an army
where you have to be gay?
It's not so big a stretch.
War is now an abstract exercise.
The bombs are smarter than we are:
computers are raring to killkillkill and
what's needed is men with imagination,
exactitude, the ability to create
a really nice target cluster.

True, the services
would be slightly different.
The PX might be flanked by verbena.
Those air force guys could fly their
pastel planes--the A-5 Chickenhawk,
the F-10 Protruder--and sport the kind of mohair
scarves the men in Sopwith Camels wore.
Also in the all-queer army
officers' clubs would really swing.
Boot camp movies would often be subtitled and
mornings, guys in sharply pleated uniforms
would perform increasingly elaborate maneuvers
on spotless parade grounds
as the band struck up
a number from Sousa or Sondheim.

think of the benefits to the commonweal:
no longer would we have
a substantial segment of
this nation's 8 year-olds growing up
on a succession of scruffy air bases,
learning to hate their fathers and
planning the day when they bring their
own semi-automatic rifles to work.
We wouldn't have to watch teary farewells
being breathed by teenaged dimbulbs to cringing wives
just before the unit ships out
to Somalia or Fort Bliss or somewhere
even weirder than that and
also I'm betting
armed confrontations
would dwindle substantially.
Those Middle Eastern guys with
their arcane codes of honor
wouldn't dare risk
losing a war to an army
of guys with posters of
Antonio Banderas plastered inside
their Bradley tanks and
maybe heterosexual men, even
those serving clandestinely, would
get out of the "business" of armed conflict
altogether and concentrate
instead on taking the fun
out of something else:
reducing marmelade to lozenge form, for example,
or making professional wrestlers
really hit each other.

Meanwhile, gay armies from Italy and
Norway would grow bored
with digital warfare,
invent some insult and
fight, all right, 
but mostly over issues
like control of the world's precious
reserves of talc, or
preserving a tactical foothold
on Fire Island.

Wars themselves might become therapeutic.
I see shock troops riding on the backs of elephants,
carrying purple shields and sporting unusual helmets,
whacking each other with stylized tridents so that
finally this great country's
religious right would grow appalled
at the spectacle of decadence and wild colors and
people engaging in conduct that is neither
profitable nor procreative and
insist that all wars be eliminated
immediately and since this is America
people would listen and
Congress would no longer authorize construction of 
huge new bombers or elaborate laser-sighted man-killing mortars
(or even those stylized tridents I think I mentioned)
and warfare might become
an odd and somewhat mystifying relic,
as elaborately forgotten as
Aztec fertility rituals or the Pledge of Allegiance which
goes to show there's a place
in the world for great gay heroes, maybe
war's too ugly to be
taken straight.

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