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COURTS-MARTIAL AND INCARCERATION: THE TRAVIS AFB ECSTASY INTERDICTION AND ITS AFTERMATH

Midnight is when we cast our net at the base’s main gate
Seeking hints of a pill with an X from a Berkeley rave
Every third car popped with a written golden flow order
Unless dogs provide cause by alerting on an odor

Seeking hints of a pill with an X from a Berkeley rave
First sergeants arithmetically tag schools of airmen
Unless dogs provide cause by alerting on an odor
Emitting from cannabis ashes beneath the back seat

First sergeants arithmetically tag schools of airmen
Flop-sweating court-martial should their debauch be detected
Emitting from cannabis ashes beneath the back seat
Gleaming from non-consensual semen stains on panties

Flop-sweating court-martial should their debauch be detected
Young airmen detour to vacuum rugs and burn evidence
Gleaming from non-consensual semen stains on panties
They forget the golden flow order’s specified timeframe

Young airmen detour to vacuum rugs and burn evidence
Consequences of discovery making them tremble
They forget the golden flow order’s specified timeframe
OSI agents duly databased their tardiness

Consequences of discovery making them tremble
Even though only their pee sample could betray them until
OSI agents duly databased their tardiness
Suspicious that missing gaps spoke of a guilty conscious

Even though only their pee sample could betray them until
The minutes spent at their cover-up attempt made the cops
Suspicious that the missing gaps spoke of a guilty conscious
Raising enough doubt to justify more investigation

The minutes spent at the cover-up attempt made the cops
Collect witnesses who recalled the girl’s hesitation
Raising enough doubt to justify more investigation
The Oakland girl only spoke if not asked how much she toked
Collect witnesses who recalled the girl’s hesitation
In front of a panel of young commanders, even if
The Oakland girl only spoke if not asked how much she toked
Guilty without exception is the board’s finding

In front of a panel of young commanders, even if
Military lock-ups overflow like clogged toilets because
Guilty without exception is the board’s finding
Equals three months for bad pee plus assorted repentance

Military lock-ups overflow like clogged toilets because
Every third car popped with a golden flow order
Equals three months for bad pee plus assorted repentance
When we cast our net at the base’s main gate


About the Author: Chuck served in the US Air Force for 22 years as an F-4 radar mechanic and a paralegal from 1987 to 2009. His duty stations included Clark and Kunsan Air Base, a TDY stint at the US Embassy in Baghdad, and stateside assignments at Eglin, Edwards, and Travis Air Force Base. Currently an MFA candidate at CSU San Bernardino, his work has appeared in Poetry Quarterly, the Five Two, Illumen, Northridge Review, and Statements Magazine.