Sapphở ~ a poem by Vi Khi Nao

“Dyke Cabbage” by Vi Khi Nao

Listen to Vi Khi Nao read her poem:



I      h u s h   the etymology of your fingers
By tasting the eternal night   around their  tips
Fennel   immolates   your desire  into my broth
I am   clavicle    not  vulture    cleaving  your aniseed for pain
I  h u s h  the wilderness   near  your basin-shaped    cavalcade
You  elevate   in your throes of  ardor  & I bend to  meet
Your feminine furniture        legs and   all    as a reference
For     diptyque  &  civility     If your tongue is  one type of
Transitive verb    Will my lips  be   able to take
Yours  as a direct object  for  a complication  of time?
My left cheek seeks  in sequence   the  grammar  of your breath
The translucent  material   of  your fugaciousness
As   you lean    from  syntax  into  chopstick
If time identifies herself as a pansexual  & you agree to be the nodes on my laptop
If my desire is binary   + yours has urinary tract infection
Won’t  it be cruel   if I suggest  we all sleep together,
Muscle & all,  on a bed of salt  & oysters?
Won’t it be fun  for bivalves to be bisexual ?
To open a Vietnamese restaurant for lesbians called Sapphở?

Author Bio

Vi Khi Nao is the author of Sheep Machine (Black Sun Lit, 2018), Umbilical Hospital (Press 1913, 2017), the short story collection A Brief Alphabet of Torture, which won FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize in 2016, the novel, Fish in Exile (Coffee House Press, 2016), and the poetry collection, The Old Philosopher, which won the Nightboat Books Prize for Poetry in 2014. Her work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. Her stories, poems, and drawings have appeared in NOONPloughsharesBlack Warrior Review and BOMB, among others; her interviews with writers have appeared in many publications as well. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University, where she received the John Hawkes and Feldman Prizes in fiction and the Kim Ann Arstark Memorial Award in poetry.


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