when we watched baltimore/prose

I don’t tell them
they are mystery.
I don’t tell them
they are strong or catch them every time
they fall.
I trust they will follow the scent of my soot
or find my foot steps in the gaps of air
whenever they let vulnerability take a
backseat to validation

we watched ferguson
and when my answers did not match what
their eyes saw,
they slept in my bed
cause that’s what kids do when they
need to feel safe.

and when we watched Baltimore
their questions grew from what to why
I grabbed the remote and put the tv
on mute
I told them, it’s not what you hear
it’s what your eyes actually see
after a few minutes / my 8 year old said
“it’s not the buildings on fire,
it’s the people”


if you are nothing else in life
you must be whole
not strong faith on Sunday slept to drunk doubt on Friday
not inertia-like prayers
passed down with his interpretations of Psalms.
tell your preacher to stay with his wife cause she loves him more
tell him to teach meditation
so we can write our own Proverbs,
the failures and laughs
that are
spoken directly into our hearts.
if nothing else becomes
of you
you must be whole
and uncertain
that you are right.
but left alone to
at least try.

Poets I Want to Make Sure You Know – Hieu Minh Nguyen

“when the man outside my apartment penned me to the sidewalk like a moth between the glass, I was impressed that race had nothing to do with it / even though he hated me / even though he spit in my face / even though he called me a faggot”

Hieu Minh Nguyen

I am a lover of perseverance. I am folklore. I am consistency and contradiction.


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