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14 the minnesota review Susan Fox War Baby The year I was born more people died than usual. They named me Susan to forget. In my homeliness they were certain they built beauty. In the chaos of my flailings they saw natural form, in my sodden sleep, stability. When I wept they smiled. They have not forgiven: I learned to walk well but would not walk beautifully, I took my own journeys, I ate strange meats. Through my blank name I heard darker syllables and learned there is no music without them there is no beauty that forgets. 15 fox Susan Fox Cong Under Saigon, 1974 A man in these tunnels is less than a slug: he knows the quarter inch between himself and earth. He smells at best of earth and dares not dream of women — there's no room — dares no dream but free air. He can't hear jungle soil sucking down hungry mountain men heirs of the Inca and their loss drawing them down from their thin clear air to swamp gas and the liquored breath of Frenchmen Germans Yanks foremen on the oil rigs trading bread for barrels. They dare not dream of women: jungle blight has raised such gouts of pus and fire on their dry highland skin no wife or whore could even pity them. He can't hear minewalls scraped by Zulus offering English to Afrikaner bosses offering gold whose dust turns their lungs to worthless mines offering uranium silvery ore that needs no dust to infiltrate irradiate blind lives. In Soweto in the Bantustans 16 the minnesota review their women dreaming of these poisoned shadows take in white men's wash. A man in these tunnels can't afford to hear echoes of exotic undergrounds. His ears sort footsteps a hundred yards away. His skin gathers the shivers of the dirt and numbers tanks on highways near Saigon. ...


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