Boys and the Wars They Train For

Any full moon you’d find us
stalking through cactus, Earl and me
and Big Joe Bubba. We sipped cold beer
and listened for owls, Saigon a war in the news
we confused with movies. We shot to hear the whine
across a mile of pasture. Flashlights
nailed more rabbits than our guns: their round eyes
gave them away, their hearts we could almost hear.
We lied about the ones we missed,
swore they crawled off in darkness to die.
Tossing the cans, we watched the stars,
hoping we’d never be afraid, but flinched
each time Earl’s .30-.30 exploded.