From my jeep in a convoy

grinding through the base camp gate

I watched her stoop her shoulders

to match the height of mama-sans in bamboo hats,

pucker her mouth to hide her brilliant teeth

from their beetlenut sneers.

She glares back as if I’d slapped her.

What can I do in the middle of a war

for a beautiful girls who’s

six foot even, Oriental, and black?

She drops her eyes to the dusty road,

caught in a line where guards will feel her up

before she’s free to scrub their clothes.


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