My mother, still beautiful despite dark half circles under her eyes, tensed her petite body; she did not narrowly escape communist Vietnam as a boat person to have her only child talk to crazy people for a living.
There are two veterans in the family. Father, who wasn’t recognized as one, and my brother, who was born here and served in the U.S. military and is therefore formally recognized as one. The officially recognized veteran receives the benefits of the institution, and he understands that privilege he holds over the unrecognized.
Poems by Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen. Dear Ba, Sometimes I drive past our old house, looking to see if it still houses all the wounds I endured there. The stifling silence, crowding of needs, the hand-me down desires. I can still hear the hurricane of dishes, your anger howling, the denial of longings. […]