From the Bayon I walked north to the elephant terrace and Bauphon, Phimeanakas and the Klengs, both North and South.

I stopped in the cool shade of the jungle and listened to a group of Cambodian musiciaans. Land mine victims, all. I sat for a while, listening to the jaunty music.
Out through the Victory Gate (ceremonial gate only used when the armies were returning from a victorious war.) At Ta Keo I climbed up the ridiculously steep steps, feeling appropriately humbled and small in the approach to the temple mountain.  Atop, I placed incense in front of the Buddha, bowed my head 3 times and said a prayer for the dead. For my dad, for the 19,000 empty eye sockets at Cheong Ek, for all of the Cambodians that were caught up in the series of wrong turns that defines the last thirty years of history here.

Copyright Estate of Anthony Vail Sloan 2009