Sweetness

from A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure

 

Sweetness of fish sauce and tonal voice

My mother with slippers     I crawl

singing towards the floor

 

Hearing

the tones later

my boy hugs shoulders

asks    Are you OK?

 

The vocals from bending

the voice is another

comes from the bending

 

Rice & fish are like

mother & child

 

A river road under a big moon

crawling and singing

I did this need    hold me being

in exile   no milk warm

 

Another said     By the grace

go I     (could have been

a Nestlé casualty

or creamed corn dysentery

 

Musical references all over the place

 

Lotus women gather flowers

in their low boats

 

In the passport picture

me amoebic with a shaved head

thin shoulders

 

Which is the fish?

The child?

 

a bamboo tube resonator

a wooden rod

halved coconut shell half

a silk string

 

Hoa Nguyen  is the author of three full-length collections of poetry including As Long As Trees LastHecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey Press, 2009) and Your Ancient See Through (Subpress, 2002). Red Juice, Poems 1998-2008 is forthcoming from Wave Books in the fall of 2014. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she curates a reading series and teaches poetics privately and at Ryerson University.

Issue #34 April 2014
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