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By Hieu Minh Nguyen

Even though it’s May & the ice cream truck

parked outside my apartment is somehow certain,

I have a hard time believing winter is somehow,

all of a sudden, over — the worst one of my life,

the woman at the bank tells me. Though I’d like to be,

it’s impossible to be prepared for everything.

Even the mundane hum of my phone catches me

off guard today. Every voice that says my name

is a voice I don’t think I could possibly leave

(it’s unfair to not ask for the things you need)

even though I think about it often, even though

leaving is a train headed somewhere I’d probably hate.

Crossing Lyndale to meet a friend for coffee

I have to maneuver around a hearse that pulled too far

into the crosswalk. It’s empty. Perhaps spring is here.

Perhaps it will all be worth it. Even though I knew

even then it was worth it, staying, I mean.

Even now, there is someone, somehow, waiting for me.


Source: Poetry (December 2018)

  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Hieu Minh Nguyen
Hieu Minh Nguyen is a queer Vietnamese American poet and performer based in Minneapolis. His work has appeared on the PBS Newshour and in Poetry magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed, Poetry London, Nashville Review, Indiana Review, among others. The recipient of a 2017 NEA fellowship for poetry, Nguyen is a Kundiman fellow, a poetry editor for Muzzle magazine, and an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College.  See More By This Poet

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