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April ♦ Passport

from Thơ Lê An Thế (2008)






I don’t believe history; I want to turn it all over, smack it and push it out the door
I doubt my country’s delicacies, its distinctive culture; I want to
   dig deep, turn them up-side-down, and shove them out the gate
The country has so many heroes occupying so much altar space
   and worship time
Those pink ceremonious robes barely hide traces of mended flesh and skins
30 years have gone afar yet banners still scream for a stop

My room is 3 meters in each dimension
I only crave a window
and need a toilet and bathroom in addition.






I can have only
one passport

on an evening in a multi-star
hotel on the shore of Hội An
they insist on my safekeeping it in a drawer

the Hội An sky has even more stars
yet it doesn’t try to safekeep me
when gently you knock on the door

darkness too climbs into the room
I know the drawer will sleep soundly all night
because I have nothing left to lose





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