Joey Della Motta sang to me in the hall of our school
My man, my man, give me five.
I play along, give him my open palm.
Joey Della Motta struts around my science class;
only crazy glue can keep him in his seat.
He hassles his friend Eric Zumbo, the jumbo kid,
sits on Eric’s desk, cradles his head, tries to kiss him.
Little Joey behind Maria Rodriguez at the water fountain
grabs her breast, she turns, clocks him on the jaw;
decks him, I look away try to hide my smile.
Joey gets to my room early, booby traps the electrical wiring;
when I set up for a lab, the fourth of July breaks out.
The local CVS store hires him as a clerk;
he sells his friend a CD player for 25 cents and is fired the next day.
I meet him two years later Christmas shopping;
Joey gives me a firm handshake.
He says, Doc, I’m a Marine;
Two more weeks and I’m shipping out to Iraq.
Do I have to say what I saw in his eyes?
Joey Della Motta—the debris of the school.
The kid teachers want out of the class quick.
Joey Della Motta will defend me;
will be the USA to the world.
Joey Della Motta, a scared kid,
may die for me.
What do you think of that?