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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, January 27, 2017.
About this Poem 

“The poem is about the little moments of love I have for the world, but also my body, which allows me to attend the world.”
—Hieu Minh Nguyen

Heavy

The narrow clearing down to the river
I walk alone, out of breath

my body catching on each branch.
Small children maneuver around me.

Often, I want to return to my old body
a body I also hated, but hate less

given knowledge.
Sometimes my friends—my friends

who are always beautiful & heartbroken
look at me like they know

I will die before them.
I think the life I want

is the life I have, but how can I be sure?
There are days when I give up on my body

but not the world. I am alive.
I know this. Alive now

to see the world, to see the river
rupture everything with its light.

Copyright © 2017 by Hieu Minh Nguyen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 27, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Hieu Minh Nguyen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 27, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Hieu Minh Nguyen

Hieu Minh Nguyen

Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of Not Here (Coffee House Press, forthcoming in 2018).