Winter 2014 • Vol. XXXVI No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 2014 |

Ghosts

—for SSgt. Ramos Three weeks before we pull the body from the river, I find Kofi waiting for me behind our camp. I spot him as I hike through the palms toward the outhouses. He's sitting under a mango tree and I assume he's waiting for me since villagers aren't allowed near the latrines, the command post, the sleeping quarters, or any of the DRASH tents. The night before, as we unloaded supplies for the hospital corpsmen, Kofi introduced himself to Gunny Winchester, asked how much he had to pay for a night with me. Gunny explained that I wasn't a prostitute, and that there would be more women Marines coming, so he better get used to giving us the same respect he gave the men. I thought that was the end of it, but afterward I noticed him following me to the river, the armory, the motor pool. Everywhere I went, there was Kofi, watching me, a toothless smile on his face. I made a point to know his name, to say it aloud as I passed him. Kofi. Know your enemy, Gunny always say

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Jaquira Diaz
Jaquira Díaz is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, and fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the MacDowell Colony. Her work appears in The Best American Essays 2016, Rolling Stone, and Brevity, among other publications. She is a 2016-18 Kenyon Review Fellow.

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