Vietnam Quatrain

Written by: tom mcmurray

Within my breast I carry ancient death; 
Its face is pale and white as marbled clay. 
Consumed with guilt, I struggle for each breath 
Still sour with napalm death of yesterday. 

The fractured colors formed behind my lids 
Are monumental rainbows round a pit 
Where hues of crimson-reds crisscross the grids 
Profuse in bloody lines and squares to fit. 

Profanely perfect patterned memories 
Of riddled bodies huddled on the ground, 
Where bloated skin slips off fatalities 
As ragged maggots slither-squirm around. 

The jungle flora breathes forth mystic sighs 
As soldiers wander through symbology. 
They see suspended phantoms' floating eyes; 
A catapult to horrid memory. 

No temple of communion colonnades! 
No transubstantiation in the heat! 
No priestly servants hidden in the glades! 
No promises of paradise wrapped neat!