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It was hard in the beginning, of course.

Getting her up, the feedings, the wipings.
“Let me die,” she’d beg me, full of remorse.
I don’t blame her. I bought her silk stockings
for her four stumps. She hated them, at first.

Three years after “it” happened she started
to smile. She stopped saying that she was cursed
on her sixteenth birthday. I french braided
her hair and we went everywhere. We’re fine
down in the stream near the village. She rests
in my embrace. Peace is being buoyant.

She still won’t talk about “it;” the landmine.

At night my tongue finds her, teasing her breasts,
her lips, her clit, with love, raw and urgent.

* * *

Note: after three decades of war Cambodia has well over 40,000 landmine amputees, 75% of which are children. In 2012, the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) estimated that there might be as many as four to six million mines and other pieces of unexploded ordnance still unaccounted for in rural Cambodia.