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The Blue Water Buffalo

by
 One in 250 Cambodians, or 40,000 people,
have lost a limb to a landmine.
—Newsfront, U.
N.
Development Programme Communications Office On both sides of the screaming highway, the world is made of emerald silk—sumptuous bolts of it, stitched by threads of water into cushions that shimmer and float on the Mekong's munificent glut.
In between them plods the ancient buffalo—dark blue in the steamy distance, and legless where the surface of the ditch dissects the body from its waterlogged supports below or it might be a woman, up to her thighs in the lukewarm ooze, bending at the waist with the plain grace of habit, delving for weeds in water that receives her wrist and forearm as she feels for the alien stalk, the foreign blade beneath that greenest of green coverlets where brittle pods in their corroding skins now shift, waiting to salt the fields with horror.

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