The Story of the Words I Use

D.F. Brown
Soldiers in Vietnam

I put my bones down in the dark
night is a boat
sleep is a trip 

words run together and point
like blood in the street
clot and ripple
on the rocks
catch ink and hold 

a breath
an echo
the shadow of an echo 

clatters past
as if Nam were a place
scraped from my brain 

and splatters here explain.

D.F. Brown was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks. He served as a combat medic with the First of the Fourteenth Infantry in Vietnam, 1969–1970.