Hai-dang Phan

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Events Ashore

af­ter the pho­to­graphs of An-my Lê

The sea a blue prairie wav­ing at me. The sky rewrit­ing its history of clouds. A tri­an­gle of light ad­vanc­ing. Be­tween the sky that is blue

and the sea that is blue, the smok­ing is­lands float­ing like ships. The ships. Black, flinty, right out of Homer. Ren­dezvous on a beach

be­tween hov­er­craft and tank, the empty beach scored with swirling track marks. The two fig­ures, sol­diers, strolling like lovers,

armed and ready. The gray tide at­tack­ing an idea of the shore. The ex­hil­a­ra­tion of at­tack, the melan­choly of re­treat.

The many greens, the blues. All kinds of blue. The blue of flags. Blue me­tal­lic skin etched with blue in­signia. My blue nights, my blue days.

Cloudlets. Cloud shaped like a frigate. Frigate cloud. Clouds gen­eral. Per­fo­rated, stri­ated, puffy. Apoc­a­lyp­tic cloud kicked up by ro­tor blast of a Siko­rsky

like a thick black cur­tain drawn over the stag­ing ground, blood­less land­scape in which the the­ater oc­curs. A would-be bomb in full bloom.

Land­scape with how­itzers. Land­scape with un­marked air­plane, trucks and Jeeps de­ployed for earth­quake re­lief. Light in­fantry and heavy ar­tillery.

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