IN COUNTRY

Fireblass blink

on Bien Hoa airstrip.

My bladder aches and I’m afraid,

but the Swedish girls says, “Stay put;

the seat belt sign is on,”

and pokes out the overhead light.

I can smell her mix

of tension and perfume,

feel the splash of woman hair

against my face

one last time.

We circle, descend, circle,

then it’s morning,

then it’s real

MP’s rout us

off the Northwest Orient

into a furnace

of burning shit and JP4.

“Run, run,” they shout,

“Run, run. You’ll miss the bus.

You’ll miss the bus to Long Bien.”

Mama-sans,

heads wrapped in old cloth,

lean against wooden posts and yawn.

One drags a broom

In front of the banner,

WELCOME TO IV COPRS,

and turns to look

but I look away.

I didn’t know death

had such lively eyes.

 
 
 
 
 

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