Vieques: Variations on a Theme
by Martin A. Ramos

    (For David Sanes: first human casualty of the bombing in Vieques.)

    I
    What can we do
    if the Marines refuse to leave Vieques
    except stand up and resist?

    II
    The day began like any other day:
    crisp, the sea spray of mar Caribe was
    spindrift against the rising eastern sun;
    sparse cumulus, like flaming galleons,
    were tinged with the pink, orange and red luster
    of early morning; and, while seagulls and pelicans
    roamed as restless as corsairs, the surf
    could be heard, mighty and free, white-tipped
    cradle of passions and dreams,
    lapping and otherwise pristine shore.
    Just an ordinary day
    on the island of Isla Nena.

    Had he but known that Death would be let loose
    that day; Death, with claws exposed and
    teeth bared.  Had he but known ...
    would he have wakened to the crowing
    of the rooster madrugador
    and the aroma of cafe colao,
    to thinking about the woman with whom
    he would share the balance of his life
    and the tragedia in Kosovo?
    Or would he have remained instead--
    like many on the mainland that day--
    complacent in bed, asleep, dreaming?

    III
    (I wanted to be a soldier and avenge
    the dead.)
    But after
    My Lai
    DMZ
    Hanoi, Saigon & Paris
    U
    S
    A
    P
    O
    W
    Full Metal Jacket
    Catch-22, Apocalypse Now, Obscenities
    The intentional bombing of Vieques
    You can have your posturings of peace
    and bilateral agreement
    and shove them both
    up your crystallized assholes






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