deck magazine

In the end, the war in Vietnam was much like any other

Valley Forge, are you receiving, over?

I say again, do you read, over?

Valley Forge, we lost you, how do you read, over?

This is America

Can you hear us now?

Our lost one hundred ninety-two

Our cold, dead sixty thousand

On your firebases, your hills, in paddy fields and rainforests, sprinting through the streets of ruined Hue

Dozing on the decks of Hueys, tapping magazines to settle bullets, lighting Marlboros off precious Zippos, smiling, scared

Captured in the whirr of Nikons, Leicas, in muddy footage where the colors seem to swell and run

By our words, could we conjure you?

Could we conjure you up, and raise you from the rich red earth and bring you back?

To lovers. Sons and daughters. Kin.

To friends grown old without you, puzzled by the youth beside them in the old pictures

To the porches and stoops where you belong

Or will you always be that endless line of figures clad in green: receding single file between the sun-drenched trees, swallowed by gloom and glare in equal measure

The steady lope of men weighed down by packs. Ammunition for the sixties X-ed across the gunners’ backs. Canteens clumsy at your hips

Humping the boonies forever.

Valley Forge, Valley Forge

Standing by to receive you


(from “Punisher MAX: Valley Forge, Valley Forge”, Garth Ennis/Carlos Ezquerra)