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Agent Orange

A poem by Muriel Mackie, sophomore Marketing Major

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Ochre smoker,

Lungs made of brass.

I smell exhaust

Wafting up through the cracks


Of your teeth and your hair,

Fingernails split,

Yellowed eyes glowing

With nicotine gilt.


Skin flakes flicks with gaseous abandon,

Particulate air slowly swirling.

Breath rattles ragged through your iron breast,

Oxidized clamshell pearling


‘Til a great jewel forms

By virtue of heaving

Mucus, slick and thick and tainted,

Calcified inside your steaming


Boiler, collecting on your throat.

Burning beads of milky dew--

Acidic on a spongy lip,

Come flying fast when hurling chew.


Smog twines through porous lungs--

Weaving dancers grin sardonic,

Tarred feet grinding into blackened

Spillage, squelching delicate


Against your tongue,

Dry but for this beneficial oil--

Cracked as crumbling parchment,

But for your body’s foil.


Agent Orange has burning hands

That leave a napalm scar,

How kind of you to hold them close,

Cocoon yourself within its tar--


Another lizard with scaling skin,

Burrowed inside bubbling pits,

Suffocated by artificial catastrophe--

A sigh, a flick, another’s lit.


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