So Warm in the Crossfire, or, The Song of Hai Phong

Does it bother you?

Does it bother you?

Does it bother y

one two three four and one two three four and

attention attention one two three four

ready aim

Does it bother you? he asks his mother

All the sound?

and she shaking against the

beating of the propellers

against the wind

says It’s coming

and then says It’s here

And one two three four they drop

another one two three four

the sky enveloped in fire his

eyes ripped out through his throat

the awful

pulsating

rhythm 

of trees falling into

each other’s arms

Screams of Má of Má of My hair is burning

The children rushing down the road barefoot

weeping their skin all alight

He waits in the following buzz wondering if maybe

it has finis

ONE TWO THREE FOUR ONE TWO THREE FOUR

The ground turns inside out and he

is split in two

in thousands

floating open and sexless

a red net a kind of afterbirth

and the voices

God, the voices

howling in legato chorus all

whipped together a wailing wall

someone asking Where has the sun gone

someone calling his name

Việt Nam của tôi, he thinks

somehow having found himself 

swimming

in ripples of heat

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