The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. Since its founding, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.
Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James, 2014), which won the Kundiman Poetry Prize and the Norma Farber First Book Award, among other honors. She is the executive director of Kundiman and lives in Reno, Nevada.
There is the rain, the odor of fresh earth, and you,
in a box. I bury the distance, 22 years of not meeting you
and your ruined hands.
I bury your hair, parted to the side and pinned back,
your áo dài of crushed velvet,