June 11 Diary, Gemini Blue


Philip Red Eagle

for Katherine

24 May 1996

Awake at 4 AM

FM radio plays me
golden oldies.

Awake before morning light

sliding between word
and melody
trying hard not to find regret.
I pull upon a thread of remembrance
and find you.

June 11, 1967 - Great Lakes

Irish Birthday Girl smiles

Slow Indian Boy falls
Slow Dance to
Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You
Rock to Credance,
I drink Olde Style,
You're into Gin and 7.

A drunken sailor falls,

spreads his ice across the floor.
You ask me to help him to his feet.
His dignity?
I balk
then do it anyway.
Nam boy, you say,
from the hospital.
I pull him to his feet.
We slide him out the side door
before security can get him.

Love and Like struggle for two months

and a week.
On August 18th you put me on the bus.

June 11, 1968 - Long Beach, California

I call from the end of the pier to say,

Happy Birthday.
From the other end of this line you say
you're going to marry,

I hide my tears in Coors

and sulk

and listen to the Doors.

June 11, 1969 - San Diego

The war goes on over there.

We are here,
and tired of it.

June 11, 1970 - Sunset Strip

I flirt with a nude dancer at the Melody Room.

She smells of body makeup and lipstick
and 7-Up.
Her body swings
Born to Be Wild.
Wants to know if I want to go out next week.
I am young and impressed with myself.

I have switched to scotch and water

tap back.
I tell her I knew a Gemimi once.

In two days my orders are cut.

I can't say that I didn't want to go.
There is something about this
bravado thing.

June 11, 1971 - Nha be, RVN

I have come to Cutty & water

Cold Duck back.
My run to Saigon is showing results.
I am slick.
I have stopped thinking about
I have stopped thinking about

I don't dream

of anyone.
I am trapped
in these strange moments;
strange days.
We are lost here.
What are we?
Who am I?

R & R starts on July 1st.

I wait.

June 11, 1996

I pull upon a thread of regret.

I have found remembrance.
It is you.
It is me.

We are trapped in those two months;

a time I loved
and regret.

I can live with regret;

I loved you anyway.

Tacoma, 1996

© 1998 Philip Red Eagle

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