Go win this thing, Johnson told McNamara. That’s hard to do with aimless volleys and random sorties, replied the secretary. Fascinating, said Bob, but I will need a reference for that conversation. Regrettably, I had yet to construe a source for those statements, so I just cited all other presidents. 

People are numbers too after burning, but that’s just so the networks can televise their incineration. It’s best to agree on the body count before shelling starts. America, like all great democracies, will put off until primetime the crimes they’ve committed already. 

The war that matters is always on television. Still, correspondence could not be expected to trace all that happened beneath the Mekong canopy. They are not qualified to discern a limp from a defect, burns from a birth mark. Fortunately, this is no longer a problem given recent strides in technology. Death still comes from above, but it’s by and large instantaneous. We’ve come a long way since those rolling barrels.  

I found fresh spinach next to Blanche’s studio, a safe space for they who already have everything. Above that eatery I talked about earlier, where liberals, gatekeepers, spin words into barbwire. They come to mimic laughing, to fix anthropology. I endure their chatter with a plug in each ear, but I still think the meals here should come with a salad. 

I was born bloody, like you, like anybody, learned to speak after I’d tasted chicken and after I’d put a significant dent in the grasshopper population of Italy. I was working my way up to lizards, but for that I would need better armaments. Bows were cutting edge in mid-century Calabria, arrows fashioned from the spokes of English umbrellas. Regrettably I wasn’t strong enough to tension that instrument. I could manage it now, but nobody makes umbrellas like that anymore, so I got myself a slingshot and turned my gaze to the cat next door. 

Before I could let loose on that feline I was conscripted by god the terrible. You wouldn’t believe his stories, suffice to say not all bloodlust is innocent. We still talk occasionally, or try to. He’s pretty far gone and he wouldn’t know a mass from a massacre. In heaven, he explained, we never stop dying and so there’s no need for mechanization. But I think he’s just jealous of our innovations.