Death's perfume, he called it--
that cocktail of rotting flesh
mixed with the crisp burn of campfires
in the villages scattered throughout
the jungles brought to their knees by Napalm.

He drifted for more years than the war, 
high on that forgetting weed, 
bartering his soul to the demons.

My husband's youngest brother,
when stoned, tells me his stories.

She still comes at night, he whispers,
this war bitch bearing belts strung with ears

How nice this will look on you

holds out grimacing skulls
skewered on bar-b-que spits
hewn of dying Vietnamese trees,

lamp posts for your yard

Offers snapshots of lost buddies 
before that march from
sniper fire to Washington Wall.

you can see them again

His sweat consorts with hers
breath stinking as she begs,
come with me
until, bedroom light still aglow,
cigarettes butts mounded,
dawn gives reprieve.

Pris Campbell

Art: Kiss of Death by Munch
Music: Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton

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Ghost Trails

I see him now and again
as he wanders the cobblestone trails
of our hometown,
glances into alleys before passing,
certain the enemy still tracks him.

'It would have been easier had they killed me,'
he once told me, in a rare lucid moment.

I think back to sixteen
when he kissed me..

Pris Campbell