John Wayne’s dead but his ghost rattles spurs
and his voice blows tumbleweed promises
only flesh can keep. His badge, shiny as only tin is
in sunshine winks as if this is all a joke,
this wild west, this middle east
all the same thing as the only sheriff in town
puts on his uniform.
So John Wayne smiles, fake as his name
and wishes his badge was true silver
so he could sell it and ride off
into that predictable sunset,
the way all good cowboys do
if he wasn’t already dead.