-past Starbucks, McDonalds, and American fast-food joints I thought had gone belly up decades ago.
-past young lovers on park benches sneaking affections,
-past vendor carts selling banh mi in brightly colored wrappers,
-past the stock exchange,
-past incense-wielding worshippers at the temple,
-past a dancing Minion selling electronics,
-past Christmas LED lights shaped like pine trees,
and I couldn’t help but wonder how it would look if we hadn’t sent 60,000 off to be killed, 2-and-a-half times that number to be shot, stabbed, mutilated, or fragged — not to mention the three million dead among civilians and enemy forces.
Hindsight may be 20/20, but I hope we do at least 50-50.
of egg coffee and banh mi
to rocky islands in the sea
tiny, tidy market stalls
to the mammoth shopping malls
once a town in ruin and rubble
I saw not an ounce of past troubles
maybe a bullet-pocked citadel
though it be true that war is hell
it’s also a terrible liar
as if the world could be remade through blood and fire.
Built in the 1590’s by the Japanese to connect the Japanese and Chinese quarters.