SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 13, 2015) Lightning strikes the water as San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) navigates between storms. The Essex Amphibious Ready Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)

The Love of Plastic

by Clark Elder Morrow

When I was young
my toys intoxicated:
the bright plastic stagecoach and horses,
the smooth rubbery plastic:
soft like grilled cheese,
yieldingly melded with
the bright browns and yellows—the feel and the sight
had me at first feel, first sight. Drunk
with their sweet sensuality
I swooned as I played with them, my
giggles the gushing of a lush
high on Hasbro, Marx, and plastic interlocking parts
of a fort I would have died to live within.
My green plastic army men
Burned and flared eidetically,
so engrossing I remember their faces
(but not my friends’)
with their hard nubby helmets, backpacks, boots
and slight bendable rifle-wisps
in the hot dirt, with nothing but time,
under suns and skies
breeding blues and yellows and joys
upon blues and yellows and joys—
healthy as a bright young sungod
and just as exultant, I
loved my plastic jeeps on the little
highways I cut for them, loved them
as I have never since loved anything so small.

And when I tore open
a big Cape Canaveral rocket station
one Christmas morning
in an agony of ecstasy
I died for a time, a time in which
I saw God and thanked Him (I think with song, certainly with tears)
for my white smooth visored glorious spacehelmet.