I’ve got your nose

by Vivienne E. Pham


I never noticed noses before You see I didn’t
really look in the mirror at 5 years old because I
was busy peeling beggar’s lice off my shoelaces I
didn’t know noses mattered or eyes for that
matter You see when that 5-year-old little girl
hears Why does your nose look so smushed? she
starts to pay attention to noses  When she hears
Can you see through those eyes? she starts to
wonder what’s wrong with her eyes 

How funny is it to now hear the opposite Your nose
is pretty pointy for an Asian Your eyes aren’t that
You see I still hate it just as much You see
you skin everyone I love and toss them into that
ivory pot Your mouth salivates as those words tear
at their gentle faces Yet somehow my face
meagerly escapes You see when my ancestors
were bombed, torn limb from limb by people with
pointy noses I start to notice noses I start to
wonder why my name is Vivienne and not
Thuy or Nga or Hoa I never wanted to notice
noses but you left me no choice

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