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Winter 2006

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Fall 2005

Vietnam//Peace Casualties
Michael C. Ford

Date palms were vibrating by the side of the road. The air
was ominous with rumbles. We had to hobble back on
makeshift crutches, while Napalm fell like chicken
ranches in Rock River, Illinois. Midwestern teenagers

brutalized  behind their own backs stand, now, in swirling
falling bombardments. They are dazzled by a dusty sunset
poison: secret Agent Orange filtering through gabled
warfare windows in our mansion's broken imagination. We

feel it would have been better to return straight standing
deserters than experience this kind of desolation. The war
left us wanting to put pistol barrels into our mouths, and
glue our brains to the plaster. We are shell-shocked sheets

of nervous glass just like splintered fragments of epic Bardic
stanzas:  yet without a lyric sense of reflecting anything,
except Southeast Asian tourist trade or MIAs loaded on
morphine.  Delirious we shake in the hanging shards of our

uniforms. Talk may be cheap, but conversation is, at least,
affordable art.  Now, the only focus victorious for us lies
towards opening, again, a door to an unethical suicide room
in a place that condones another eccentric, frantic dance of 

patriotic wholesale gun-fire delusion.  We are moving, now, 
as we moved before:  like slow murderous circus wagons
through startled parlors of Phnom Penh. Our journal pages
are jammed with pride or pathos: whatever, soon, would
leave us as, abandoned as a carwash in the rain.