By Jenny Xie
Nowhere in those kerosene years
could she find a soft-headed match.
The wife crosses over an ocean, red-faced and cheerless.
Trades the flat pad of a stethoscope for a dining hall spatula.
Life is two choices, she thinks:
you hatch a life, or you pass through one.
Photographs of a child swaddled in layers arrive by post.
Money doesn’t, to her embarrassment.
Over time, she grows out her hair. Then she sprouts nerves.
The wife was no fool, but neither did she wander.
She lives inside a season of thrift, which stretches on.
Her sorrow has thickness and a certain sheen.
The wife knows to hurry when she washes.
When she cooks, she licks spoons slowly.
Every night, she made a dish with ground pork.
Paired with a dish that was fibrous.
Source: Poetry (November 2017)
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Between Hanoi and Sapa there are clean slabs of rice fields
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I mean, no three—
See, counting’s hard in half-sleep, and the rain pulls a sheet
over the sugar palms and their untroubled leaves.
Hours ago, I...
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I thanked the fish, looked away, pressed down.
We bled it, shaved away the scales,
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We thought the birds were singing louder. We were almost certain they
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A spring snow coincides with plum blossoms.
In a month, you will forget, then remember
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I have no theory of radiance,
but after rain evaporates
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i love you to the moon &
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i was already moonlighting
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Some women make a pilgrimage to visit it
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I didn’t drive to it; I dreamed it, the thick braid
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