Kinh Te Moi

by Brittany Nguyen
Today my brother asked me to be dead,
to plea on my knees, swallow violence, and bleed for our men.
My brother asked me to confess mutiny, diamonds and gold,
and abandon equity.
My brother tore the yellow plague from the root of my mouth 
and threw my siblings into a straw bag.
My brother clacked his index finger against his thumb to shoot through
the paper that surrounds my home and the chests of millions.
Four grains of rice in a house of five,
My brother knew tragedy; the zhen, the shan, the ren 
that ran into the streets to reform in ninety-nine.
Yet my brother pierces his black thumb into his forearm 
and blends the idea of collectivism into his veins. 
My brother asked me to listen,
to the violent horns signaling the escaping rodents
marking dreams as the enemy, shattering the body, 
the community, the soul, hiding behind the solace of the walls.
There is no nation but the imagination
to make the world disappear.
Agitprop lovers, animated dancers, liberated natives, 
banned at the will of the tyrannical fist.
My brother asked me to blame my ancestors.
They construct title-less context. My brother sees
the forty five souls taken, but smothers the light to the butt; 
The smoke falling from my brothers hand, calling me the bitter light.
My brother’s condemned rule is good and cruel
The cemented feet absorb the balance of virtue and karma,
creating a new scene, mask, day; to see brother’s collapsing death.
Today is Black April.
Today I am taking the wind from nowhere,
create more for me and my siblings to see better light.
We are the refugees, the Bac 54, and we ask
where are you now brothers?