Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Offing

Offing 
by Hoa Nguyen

What your dark eyes take back
to itself, hugged in a curve
of toughness. The land between us is flat.
Let's say we are ruined, Minneapolis,
bricked against ourselves. A red rag
in the kitchen. This isn't important or I am.

I never wanted to touch you
and still do. How can we pray or find
what collects in heaven, Father?
I'd be surprised by elegance,
meaning something like rugs
and leather. Soft and tough. This.

I want belief like this. Leaving
the sea is a rag doll I once was. Texas
clouds in dreams, swinging. My loving you
once, mud puddle, swing set.

from Red Juice. pg 45

[I'm Almost Your Cat's Pajamas]

[I'm Almost Your Cat's Pajamas]
by Hoa Nguyen

I'm almost your cat's pajamas
your topsy turvy all over
almost a pinup of yarnballs
at the rest-stop of undeclared wars
(the way Descartes faked it)
give me history or give me
a name unknown in zoology
So I can be anything but empty doll
all jammed body doll    a pregnancy
to be "natural"

from Red Juice, pg. 9

My Love for Nature

My Love for Nature
by Fatimah Asghar

All this tall grass has ruined my gold
acrylic nails & I know something’s dead
just beyond my window. I grew up
with rats running my floorboards
& know the smell straining from a body
once caught in a trap. In the city
what little I have of an ass
is always out, a simple wind blow
from Marilyn Monroe-ing the street.

Here, in all this nature, there is nobody
but me & my 5 friends for a week
& I promised myself I’d be naked
but the first day I found a tick
clinging to my arm hair for dear
life & decided no way I’m exposing
my pussy to the elements. My love
for nature is like my love for most things:
fickle & theoretical.

Too many bugs & I want a divorce.
Last week, before I was here
my uncle drove me from our city
to the suburbs & sang “Project Chick”
in the car. When we parked
he asked me to take off my shoes
& there we walked, silent, barefoot
circling the lake, trying to not step
in goose shit.

He walked in front & I trailed behind
both our hands clasped behind our backs.
When you were my daughter,
those were the happiest days of my life.
I wish you would come home.

My love for the past is like my love
for most things. I only feel it when
I’m gone. Best to stay gone
so I’m always in love. If I look
at something too long it forgets
its joy. All the floorboards carry
death. My gold nails are fake
& chipped. My bare feet skirt the shit.


Source: Poetry (September 2016)