I never understood history until I saw the bones,

slender and pale, close to the concrete bunkers—graceful

tibias and femurs and the delicate arch of rib cages—scattered

shapes beneath the green twists of banyan trees.


The extreme fecundity of breadfruits and coconuts counter

the invasion of rusting tanks, halted forever in their approach

up the soft white sand from the ocean’s silent blue.


Beneath this placid surface the shapes of bombers, their cockpits

now a home for schools of angelfish, an occasional eel;

swimming around an unmoving wing I try not to wonder

what happened to its crew so long ago or to recite

within the quiet space beneath the waves,

“Those are pearls that were his eyes.”



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