Every Time We Ended in Little Sài Gòn ~ a poem by Phương Uyên Huỳnh Võ

title line from Erika Ayon

There are more boba and coffee shops to work at
all day like in Việt Nam. Little stalls of street food little
chairs to mimic sidewalk tables. The new phở shops
all have names now, instead of numbers.
Here, you can fix broken things.
But not the traffic. A fight pit without rules, every person
for themselves but if you hit someone, cash
will solve the problem. Don’t let the dirty supermarkets
fool you with their dead-fish smell – they’re expensive.
So is rent. And gas prices. Because this is Little Sài Gòn,
capital of Vietnamese America. On Tết, the fireworks charge off
into dawn, the smoke suffocating your throat, smacking
your eyes like it’s home. Hidden pearl of Orange County!
Mud brown walls rebuilding lives out of broken history!
Stay my little secret. I am a child of your Saturday night parties –
on the couch I watch my mother fling her body
to the wrong karaoke beats without care. My story:
Sunday errand trips to the market towing back trunks
of quiet delicacies. A tale so typical, it is almost boring.

Phương Uyên Huỳnh Võ grew up in Anaheim, CA and Sài Gòn, Việt Nam. Her work has been featured in Acid Verse and Loves Me ZineIn her free time, Phương likes to play her piano and sing songs on repeat. She currently resides in Long Beach, CA, land of the Tongva and Kizh people, and can be found on Instagram at jasminegreentea96.


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