Holiday in Cambodia

I walk with a kid on piggyback
Step over wrappers and stagnant liquid
Men sitting around get drunk, the sun is going down
Tiny bodies come home with bags of food

Wind and smog blow in my face
I’m listening to the Dead Kennedys song

I’m here to document the people and condition for
appeals to the kindness of western wallets
To depress them just enough while engendering hope

Sweat rolls off my forehead, into the muck
6pm and the area is beginning to get dark, feels dark
“My daughter died yesterday and I need $50 for the funeral”
A woman says to Scott in basic Khmer
Another person asks for money

There’s a lingering smell, a headache-inducing stench
Like the time I cleaned out my home garbage cans
With a powersprayer and a twisted stomach,
and told my dad, “More than $20 or never again.”

Torn from the inside just yesterday
Sons forced to kill their mothers
Brothers forced to kill their sisters
Students forced to kill their teachers
Minds forced to kill their thoughts
The world’s gaze focused on the Vietnam War

4 years, 19,000 grave pits, 1.7 million gone
1 country still picking up the bloodstained pieces