Tuesday, February 3, 2009

She, who carries

Saigon, 1998

She, who carries the heat and the sea,
is handed to me in a heart beat proud
and strong.Where tiny lungs labor through
time’s phlegmy chest. Rattled breath sacrificing
ying, ying of the ancients,for the comfort
that ah, da da brings. She sings,past the
clutter and our ancestral emphysema.She brings
the heat and the sea, and the promise of continuance.

“Sit up child! Soon you will be a Barbie.”
They prop her up, wipe her nose.

“She, Vietnam?” they ask us.
“Yes,” we submit.
“She’s lucky!”
“We’re lucky!” It’s plain to see.
In our first unbridled cyclo ride,
grappling iron fingers grappling with new life.

Ardmore 2008

She, who carries the heat and the sea,
slender tween sings and sways to a beat proud
and strong. No trace of labor or sense of lack,
as she casts a line toward adolescence.
Deep within her form, like so many flecks of rice,
polished by the ages, her first unbridled cycle
speaks the promise of continuance.

She, who carries the heat and the sea,
seasons her language with salty shards of youth,
melts chocolate hearts in her palm.
Her blood remembers
the heat and the sea,
where generations of fish spawned
generations of family under thatched roofs,
saluting the heat of dawn,
swaying with the tide at dusk.
She carries their blood,
but her memory is free.

She, who carries the heat and the sea,
beholden to no one, breathes
confidence, speaks her mind,
grapples with new emotions.
She will be, what she will be.
But the blood that flows from her
heart to the sea, carries me.
Lucky. Lucky.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

White Noise (for Tony)

sleeping son
of faded stars, blue
blood rhythms seething.
Ensconced in layers of dusty
sheets, blankets of camphor and
must. Generations of gentiles carefully
coiffed screech to a muted
halt in this black room
with white noise.
you shrug, I am
Atlas, robust and red.
When dreams are accessed,
dust must fall. Daily our rhythms
meter, teetering on the brink.
who will release
the shudder, the ancient
worry, exposing our pastures
for green. Future is written in
sepia-toned captures of dreams.