I SHOUT, “I’M COMING . . .”

The sun is hotter today.
The stink is worse.

coagulated
blood n guts
flies
(where there used to be eyes)
bits n pieces
body parts
collected
in zippered bags

“You got 10 minutes to chow down!”

Lunch time
C rations, a plastic spoon, a P-38
I trade spaghetti and ground beef
for chicken and noodles, my favorite
with peaches, crackers and peanut butter
I trade Marlboro for Lucky Strikes
(Dad smoked them)

I hesitate between chews.

SILENCE
No bird song in the fucking jungle
Maybe Agent Orange
Maybe the artillery concussion
It’s fuckin’ scary eerie

“Eat up guys. Back in 5!”

I look around
Some guys are sun-burnt raw
Most of us look happy
Opium does that

Not the sunburn
The happy

We gobble and gulp
Someone is playing the Temps
‘I wish it would rain’

“Let’s go! Back on the guns!”

BUT HEAR, “INCOMING . . .”
50 YEARS LATER
KAIA KNOWS
I’M ON MY WAY.

f