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By Mai Der Vang

From a recessed hollow

Rumble, I unearth as a creature


Conceived to be relentless.

Depend on me to hunt you


Until you find yourself

Counting all the uncorked


Nightmares you digested.

I will let you know the burning


Endorsed by the effort of

Matches. And you will claw


Yourself inward, toward a

Conference of heat as the steam


Within you surrenders, caves

You into a cardboard scar.


Even what will wreck you

Are your mother’s chapped lips.


Even to drip your confession

Of empty rooms. I know about


Your recipe of rain, your apiary

Ways. Trust me to be painful.


Source: Poetry (July 2017)

  • Living

Poet Bio

Mai Der Vang
Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland, which recounts the Hmong exodus from Laos and the fate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. The book received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is currently a visiting writer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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