Unanswered by Do Nguyen Mai

As I prepare to return to Vietnam, I found this exquisite poem by Do Mguyen Mai who is from California.

Unanswered by Do Nguyen Mai

After Joshua Nguyen

Em ơi,

don’t look back

when my spine snaps

against the cold click

of the trigger,

when my lungs flood

with the fullness

of the night sky,

when my body drops


when the ocean folds

its palms over my chest,

when my ribcage whistles

with the waking shore,

when the water ripples,

when the boat tips over,

when I become the sea

swelling beneath your swaying ship –

em ơi,

I will carry you

to shore.

Do, Mai N. (2019) “Three Poems: Charges Against a Newborn; Unanswered; For the First Generation,” Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement: Vol. 14 : Iss. 1 , Article 3. DOI: 10.7771/2153-8999.1183 Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jsaaea/vol14/iss1/3


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