Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Erebus

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Erebus

Article excerpt

You have the dream again: monsoon season, jungle, a muddy village road; you are naked, stumbling along a paddy dike across an open field toward the village where C.W. killed all the pigs but once into the trees there is only thickening jungle, canopy hung with smoldering flares. You stumble into an open field, cupping your balls, and from the next treeline you hear music, Motown, Aretha who used to throb from the mortar pits where the brothers slung round after round down the tubes, a little respect, and when you enter the village, ashamed, you see men you tagged dead and choppered out like sides of beef, grinning at you from around a fire, and the old women, the children who didn't move quick enough, all the Cong, they are there too,

and the ones from the day so many died you tore up your own clothes for bandages, all there and singing, lit amber by the fire. What took you so long Doc, they say. They ask you where you've been and you can't tell them. Over twenty years since you got lost coming home, and now you're back here in the stinking silt and hedgerows, shin deep in pigs, but this time naked and without a weapon. …

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