POETRY July 5, 2024


A grandmother reaches the end of her patience and staples her husband of thirty years to a telephone pole.

An orphan receives a package from a country no one has ever heard of, finding in it a jade bracelet, tangerines, and a small red bag full of salt from her parents’ tears.

A sister sprouts a heart the size of a petal-soft house, invites for hotpot her late father, her late mother, her late siblings and cousins, and finally, herself.

A wife dresses like a mirror every morning to her husband’s disappointment.

A girl enters a classroom on the first day of a new school and hears all the ancestors call out her name at once. 

An aunt opens her chest and finds a meowing cat, a blue cup, a Formica chair, and a mother who asks: who would you be if you were? 

A daughter plucks her parents’ eyes and buries them in the night. In time, they begin to blink. In time, lights the hue of dew show her where they are.

A widow pulls the corners of her grief up like a tulle skirt and begins to count her joys like toes.

A mother sews birds into the narrow bones seaming her children’s spine, ushers them to fly fly fly.

A woman unclasps her bra and, after eighty years, moths flock out.

Uyen Phuong Dang is a Vietnamese American writer living in Saigon and New Haven in alternation. Her work has received support from Tin House and Fulbright and has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, The Adroit Journal, Passages North, and elsewhere. She is currently in between places, working on a short-story collection centered on Vietnamese myths, daughters, and memory. More at https://www.uyenpdang.com/
Social Media: Twitter @_uyendang