Poetry

who / deserves a perfect night, you in reverse / i will see us aged in reverse in Calauit Island / safari park the mid-resort of life upon life / quietly underneath
an uncle would come in and ask me to write up a paragraph of the latest chef’s specials / so I felt very fortunate to be able to write in our language when he asked / he’d point out my misspellings / and I’d have to reassure myself that they didn’t make me any less of my parents’ child
My favorite Vietnamese word is “thương,” which is actually the very word that I incorporated in 'queer lost love'... “Thương” is like a love that can be romantic but more familial, and connotes a deeper, more genuine connection that’s emanating from the feeler. “Thương” is innocent, pure, raw, wholesome, honest love. But because it’s often used in a familial context, the romantic appeal of its use gets overshadowed and lost.
Paul Bonnell reviews Phuong T. Vuong's The House I Inherit. In “What my father gives me,” Vuong writes: my father who gives me / salted lemons / makes offerings / when my silence seems / too prickly for much else / my father so good / at surviving / even his preserved lemons / stay afloat in salt water
One morning she wakes up / She wants to eat all the things in the world / Things like cars, trains / clothes, shoes, toilet paper /
The blind man draws circles and traces charms / Bloodline cursed over three generations: / A mother burns her baby with fire and water / To prove the newborn is not his father’s future assassin.