No matter where we go, there’s a history
of white men describing a landscape
so they can claim it. I look out the window
& I don’t see a sunset, I see a man’s
pink tongue razing the horizon.
I once heard a man describe the village
in Vietnam where my family comes
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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
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.