Red Lantern Jesus

Trees with bulbous flowers in a face of stone, like Chinese paper lanterns. Red, translucent eyes in a blind jungle. Vines over the water, their whispers among each other. The birds in this humid forest, in the eyes and mouth of that great stone head, songs an echo in an empty space.

The march and march and march of boots through sludge, slick mud. And the sun, too bright, on a hundred dollar bill some sucker like me — a flash, glint, BOOM! A man-made earthquake in this jungle temple. A volley of fire. And I, on the ground, just pieces in front of the stone head of Jesus with red lantern flowers for eyes.

Inspired by “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.


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