OK Corral East: Brothers in the Nam


Sgt. Christopher and I are

in Khanh Hoi down by the docks

in the Blues Bar where the women

are brown and there is no Saigon Tea

making our nightly HIT — 'Hore Inspection Tour

watching the black digging night sights

soul sounds getting tight

the grunts in the corner raise undisturbed hell

the timid white MP has his freckles pale

as he walks past the high dude

in the doorway in his lavender jump-suit

to remind the mama-san quietly of curfew

he chokes on the weed smoke

he sees nothing his color here

and he fingers his army rosary his.

but this is not Cleveland or Chicago

he can't cringe any one here and our

gazes like brown punji stakes impale him

we have all killed something recently

we know who owns the night

and carry darkness with us.

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