Philip Red Eagle
24 May 1996
Awake at 4 AM
FM radio plays me
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, live. I drink Olde Style, tall 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 Sorry, you're going to marry, soon.
I hide my tears in Coors
and listen to the Doors.
June 11, 1969 - San Diego
The war goes on over there.
We are here, preparing, 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 you. I have stopped thinking about before.
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.
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.
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