In Saigon my uncle caught gonorrhea in the back of a bar behind a dumpster. My cousin and I spent Saturday mornings in front of the television, watching Star Trek re-runs. Before the birth of my daughter, I didn’t complete a half marathon. Under the palm trees, hidden from the streets and the war, he took the woman and made love to her with the smell of garbage enveloping the two of them. My cousin liked to pretend to be Spock when we watched Star Trek. Rain falls on the house. She mounted him, while the dirt and grass tickled his bare back. I figured Beth couldn’t drink during the pregnancy, so training for the half marathon was my way of joining her in solidarity. My cousin was named Brian, but we called him Spock. My uncle was named Seth. I signed up for a race the day before Beth’s due date. Beer bottles cracked under my uncle’s back. Spock used to wake up in the middle of the night screaming, waking me up after to see if I was alive. Rain popping on the gutters, I approach the house and draw my gun. Beth went into labor while I was at the fifth mile, almost halfway through the half marathon. Spock had night terrors. I met Beth two months after my last tour in the desert. Spock would wake up the whole house when he had night terrors. I didn’t tell Beth that I had served until four months after we started dating, because it made things easier. I draw my gun, approaching the house, the rain popping on the gutters. The next morning my uncle woke up with cuts all over his back. Beth’s labor lasted into the night, and I stayed with her, unable to sleep. I am still in the desert. My uncle is in Saigon. Beth is in the hospital. Spock is sitting up in bed screaming for everyone to hear and checking to see if I’m alive. My shoes are soaking wet from the puddle I step in on the side of the house. Jeff is dead. The baby came out a girl, a relief; there are already too many boys in this world. The windows reveal a dark house made darker by the clouds. I met my uncle once. Beth and I both cried when the baby was born. I held Jeff the same way I would hold my baby years later. I hold my baby the way I held Jeff years earlier. Both are covered in blood. My uncle grabbed the girl’s neck and pulled her closer to him. Jeff was plugged with bullets while we circled a house. Spock woke up one night screaming and then started slapping my chest because he thought he had killed me. My gun is drawn, and I approach the house, while rain pops on the gutters. My half marathon remains unfinished and will stay that way. My uncle showed up drunk in the kitchen and told Spock and I about the cuts on his back one night when we were twelve and my parents were out to dinner. As I held my baby, I felt that she could be safe in the world. Lowering my gun, I check if the door is unlocked, my feet still soaking wet. My uncle drank three of my dad’s beers before escaping through the backyard at the sound of my parents’ car. When Jeff got shot, he was rounding a corner and exposed himself to enemy fire. Spock told me he thought he had strangled me to death, and he was happy that I was alive. My uncle left the beer cans, and my parents punished Spock and I for drinking. I knew she would be beautiful. Using the handle of my gun, I smash the window. Holding her by the neck, my uncle fucked her harder and harder. Bullets don’t make a sound when they hit somebody. Spock never ended up drinking like his father. Through tears my mother told Spock that he really shouldn’t. Beth slept after she gave birth. Jeff paused a second before falling. Their noises grew as they came closer. I hid behind the wall, staring at Jeff’s dead body, thinking that around the corner was the only way to meet up with the rest of our battalion, aware that there was at least one person with an automatic there to kill me, aware that Jeff was dead, aware that I was alive, aware that I was fucked, and aware that I would more than likely die the same way as everyone else I knew. Through tears, my mother told Spock she lost a brother, not knowing that he had been there less than twenty-five minutes before. The house is dark, and I know I have to go downstairs to the basement. Someone came out of the kitchen and spotted my uncle and the girl who gave him gonorrhea. My gun is drawn. I kicked in a door and found a stairwell. She was so small in my hands. Jeff felt small in my hands when I held him too. I cried holding both of them. My uncle is in Saigon. I am in two houses, one in the desert, the other is across town in the rain. Beth is breastfeeding the baby in the hospital. Spock is screaming in the night. My mother is crying at the kitchen table. My grandfather is being born in a Hoover town while my great grandfather steals bread from the deli his cousin owns. From a bare window, I spotted the man who fired six rounds into Jeff. The smell from the basement knocks me to the ground when I open the door. I watched the baby and Beth sleep from a chair in the corner of the hospital room. A bus boy and a line cook pulled the girl off my uncle and started shouting at her. I could have used one shot on the guy who killed Jeff. Spock didn’t go back to sleep the night he dreamt he killed me. One of them slapped her across the face, and she cried, while the other spit on my uncle who was still naked on the ground. I emptied the entire clip into him because I wanted to make sure he had more holes in him than Jeff did. My uncle fell asleep behind the dumpster that night. I went back to Jeff and held him my arms, feeling that I would spend my life holding dead bodies. I held my daughter the same way I held Jeff. I vomit at the top of the stairs, and then grip my gun with two hands, and descend. Spock said he didn’t want to sleep again because he didn’t want to kill me again. I watched Beth and the baby sleep because they made me feel that maybe I won’t only hold dead bodies. The most active sense in the basement is smell. Jeff’s dead eyes stared into mine as I held him. The smell is putrid. My uncle never left Saigon. When I was in the hospital, I felt that I could leave the desert. Here in the basement, holding more dead bodies, I know I never will.