No Longer Safe

Pris Campbell

I wonder if you're thinking about it today.
You, who safe in the DMZ on a supply ship,
still came back to Pearl with the stench
of Vietnam trailing behind you, its angry heat
embedded into your pores.

We married beneath crossed swords,
not yet knowing that the war was strong
enough to rip out the part of your heart
that once carried me in it so gently –
like a gestating baby, a safe cocoon
of dreams we didn't yet know would be
unraveled before the bootees were made.