04 April 2010

The Empty Coffin

we stand beside the empty coffin
the thumpthumpthump of my hollow heart
echoes echoes echoes

I never saw him
but I loved him
the memories are not mine

black and white photographs
a grin as wide as the gash in the earth
do I really look like him?

his buddy takes me aside
telling me stories from the jungle

he forgets I am only a boy
that my mother doesn’t want me to know
that he already said goodbye

but I never had the chance
and even today the heavy emptiness
stretches like a balloon inside me

the sketchiness of the facts
targeting rail lines north of Hanoi
the plane down in a paddy

villagers running to pull them out
to save them or maybe themselves
it was a war for chrissakes

he escaped
but the other…
what if what if whatif

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