American Story

Boston rooftop she sits
State Street shines like mười lăm cây vàng
her papa melt gia đình
the seats on the floor of a floor of a drizzled boat
yeah her State Street shines
& high up
each window like a boat
her office, her window
her boat of driftwood gold
& then in leans a whisper, little but clear
like a mosquito in her ear
"if they come for you,
jump.  Jump!"
& papa springs back like rubberbands
empty office, empty boat
only her & her laptop here

Dot Ave streets wind
like papa’s hands
his long fingers twist like cones
like his Huế accent winds like
the wood of that drizzled boat back then
her Mỹ years 11 but her Việt years 12
on those crusty planks
20 thieves wind the deck
200 dirt nail tips
swipe the night like kites
her eyes stare black water
& papa leans a whisper, little but clear
like a mosquito in her ear
"if they come for you,
jump.  Jump!”

                  by Danny Thang Ho

 

mười lăm – 15
cây vàng – gold pieces
gia đình – family
Huế – a central Vietnamese accent, also a city in central Vietnam
Mỹ – American
Việt – Vietnamese