Ocean Vuong, David Chandler

Author: Share:

Aubade with burning city

South Vietnam, April 29, 1975: Armed Forces Radio played Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” as a code to begin Operation Frequent Wind, the ultimate evacuation of American civilians and Vietnamese refugees by helicopter during the fall of Saigon.

Milkflower petals in the street
like pieces of a girl’s dress.

May your days be merry and bright…

He fills a teacup with champagne, brings it to her lips.
Open, he says.
She opens.
Outside, a soldier spits out
his cigarette as footsteps fill the square like stones
fallen from the sky. May
all your Christmases be white
as the traffic guard unstraps his holster.

To read the rest of this article and to get access to all Mekong Review content, please purchase a subscription by clicking here.

Previous Article

I am the Five

Next Article

The Rohingya

More from the Mekong Review