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“Incoming”

Volume 8 | Spring 2018

by Kenneth Roy

Vietnam. Fourth of July nightmare works in a landscape of pop-up targets.

Decorticated generals huddle in sand-bagged caverns,
Snort gunpowder, and plot imaginary campaigns.

From graffiti dreams apocalyptic ambitions are realized, and
avenues of destruction marked on plastic maps.

The maps are folded into boats and launched onto flooded rice paddies.
The ink runs red on the ripples made by egg beater chopper blades.

Every day is a Memorial Day as we march to the sound of drumbeats falling from thirty thousand feet.
Some drop out of formation to case their instruments and take to sleep.

From heaven, the newly departed dead drop post cards that say “wish you were here,”
while the walking wounded stand on the road outside Saigon to hail taxi cabs for home.