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Words like Chopper Blades

( After Ocean Vuong, and my father )    
 
. . .once [ the war ] enters you,    
it never leaves—but merely echoes. . .*
   
   
The war is never over for a soldier.**    
   
Vietnam, 1957    
   
Your eyes, still echoing wide with boy    
at 17, resonating violently inside    
   
their soft-shelled socket, your    
tripwire tongue severing a moan    
   
buried in her cartilage'd throat, waiting    
to explode as a Bouncing Betty     
   
above the surface. Prostitution, makeshift    
war-wife, Lucky Strikes, napalm    
   
mornings, spreading like olive thighs    
over stained linen, choking the reality    
   
of back-home family, gestating as seeds    
to sprout normalcy.  Lien, her name    
   
pronounced Lynn—my elder sister's namesake    
as dictated in your letter. O Father—    
   
your words like chopper blades—machetes    
through the jungle of my mother's heart    
   
years beyond Lynn's tragic death—    
another casualty of war ingested by earth.    
   
While today, sewn somewhere in the cusp    
of a country embattled by loss, lives you    
   
O Brother—a mere egg that fought as a soldier    
to be born—to flower from death as color;    
   
your eyes, wide with boy—or, perhaps not;    
O Brother, the war entered us both    
   
through our father's sperm, and will echo    
until one of us releases their ghosts—    
   
which one remains unknown—maybe    
I am already alone, waiting to join you all;    
   
a soul-family of gestated seeds sprouting    
normalcy in rich orchards of ripened love    
~    
   
   
   
   
   
* Ocean Vuong    
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous    
   
** My Father    
Post Vietnam war
Ahavati
Written by Ahavati
Published | Edited 8th Aug 2020
Author's Note
Non-entry for the CCC - On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous https://deepundergroundpoetry.com/forum/competitions/read/11513/

Inspired by 'A Little Closer to the Edge':...
Non-entry for the CCC - On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous https://deepundergroundpoetry.com/forum/competitions/read/11513/

Inspired by 'A Little Closer to the Edge': https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/88734/a-little-closer-to-the-edge
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