Glen A. Perice

Gulf War Syndrome

She’s moving slowly
waiting for the
heat to slack off into the evening. She’s waiting for that.
She’s making dinner and smoking a cigarette.
She’s drinking a Bud. Each swallow blossoms in her mouth

like a possibility. The baby is sleeping
in the bedroom

the mechanical whine of the crickets

the occasional mosquito that pricks her flesh

the grass that stains her husband’s work clothes
dark green.
She makes sure to get his clothes clean.
He’s sleeping on the couch shivering
with a bad rash and a permanent fever.

She chops vegetables in the kitchen
and hears herself chopping the vegetables
and then wipes her face, takes another drink
and empties the pieces
into a dark blue bowl.

Copyright 1997, Glen A. Perice

Glen Perice is an anthropologist and writer. He has lived in the Caribbean and currently lives in the Far East. His work has appeared in The Maryland Review of Literature and The New Delta Review, and is forthcoming from Skylark.

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