E. R. Sanchez
A small, tired, packed, rickety,
wooden boat creaks,
people of all ages,
forced to stand the Pacific.
They see the sun rise and dip
on a limitless pale blue canvas.
Their eyes eager to see a coastline
not armed by Viet-Cong.
Each glances into each other's pupil
connected by a bridge that cracks under the current,
every night closes like it is the last.
Blinded and deaf to their crying,
some realize the weak are useless,
so they must walk with shaved head shame.
The air, overrun by salt,
floods their tongues with want.
The feast, stains the diners black-red,
ruining their conscience with suicidal guilt.
Surviving skulls must be shaved,
hair falling on their full stomachs.
The boat is close to empty.
An exhausted, crude, makeshift, wooden boat, creaks,
everybody cries as they near the shore,
most cling to the blood-stained wood,
all walk with shaved head shame.
Foreign eyes are curious,
but no one asks.
Peace soldiers shoo them into assimilation camps.
The boat people must grow out their hair,
though they protest through tears,
wishing everybody was here,