A submission call for "texture poems" from the Vietnamese diaspora, in commemoration of the 44th anniversary of April 30, 1975. We would like to consider “textures” of diasporic experience that have since been gathered, created, collected and re-collected, imagined and re-imagined, since that historic day in 1975.
Part poem. Part fluent. Part Viet. Part not. These visual diaries are my way of understanding the complexity of being in two separate places at the same time.
Beneath the shroud of morning, two mothers watch / their daughter die. One keeps her eyes closed, / the other, her hands clutching prayer, // a kaleidoscope pool collected at their naked feet / as a lotus ruptures upon the gasoline garden.
Yesterday, my history professor ordered me to stay after class and then apologized to me. “We are sorry for everything that we did. Vietnam was such a beautiful place with beautiful people.” I shifted awkwardly, unsure if this was the beginning or the end of the conversation.