They loved the smell of napalm in the morning.
The Valkyries rode with them. Choppers chopped.
We hold our breath. We watch the horror spawning.
Before Iraq, before the shock-and-awe thing.
The film that brandished spectacle. War rocked.
The big screen hell, the napalm, the Kilgore thing.
The violence, the vanity. We’re drawn in.
The playmates, the profanity, tabs dropped.
We hold our breath. It burns. The horror warming,
like spice upon our lips. Like agent orange.
The otherness of others. Charlie, mocked,
don’t surf. But they surfed napalm in the morning.
He should have been a pair of ragged claws in
search of hollow men to crush, to shock,
to choke their breath. He welcomed horror’s taunting.
A ruthless heart of darkness always calling.
It called to him. It told him not to stop.
We love the smell of napalm in the morning.
We hold our breath. The horror, horror yawning.
If you have any comments on this poem,
Joe Crocker would be pleased to hear from you.