YELLOW SEA

The sun scorched each day
And time, gray and mercurial in viscosity
Lay trembling, vast and endless
As we are floating down.

War came in July.
Eighty man drafts, armed and a box lunch
On the Pan-Am China Clipper
Flying north

Rivers, jungles coil below.
Spiralling green, coral as snow.
Island turning in the sea.
Metal Eagle soar and wheel
In the igniting yellow sky
And we are floating down.

Haneda then truck
To Yokosuka and Kobe.
Marines in strength from everywhere, everywhere.
Thru a hole in fence for a last nite ashore.
With a girl, “Goodnight Irene” in a blurred street.
Board a troopship
To the tune of a bagpipe: some other outfit.
Racked five high in the holds.
Cleaning weapons, stoning knives,
Crossing the Yellow Sea.
Off Inchon, the “MO” is still hurling
Flat trajectory broadsides
Of sixteen inch HE inland.
It’s now! Form up;
Down the cargo nets
To the bucking, roiling barges;
Watch your hands!

We circle; adding; growing;
Gathering force, momentum;
Await the go flag from the signal ship;
It’s now; the coil unwinds; peels;
Turns to multiple lines;
Course to the seawalls, beaches, jettys.
The Markers,
Minutes-seconds-
As we are floating down.

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