Ficus Carica Sonnet

Hoa Nguyen - 1967-
Cinched belt tugged tight around the heart
5 or 6 aerial roots dangling      A strangler fig

Do homeless ancestors live inside the tree?
Child of noise    Hold the loosened ends    You

may miss the moon or fall in love with it         Embrace
ashes    I too am far removed    A thirst that wanders

thirsting     And I could never ask the name of the boy
who died     A baby boy who died but what could you do

and maybe words hang in sinew and care     Writer
of dead words or living words and life's hammer

Encase the host tree and erase it     I don't know
the folk songs on farms far from here    The dead buried

and gone    To dig the grave     Who dug the graves
Darling      The sea widens for you tonight      and deepens

More by Hoa Nguyen

Swell

Swell     you can dream more   the earth
swells      seeds pop
I glance at the prize
eyes closed in the glancing

It's not a time to run
I wear soft shoes
and it took a long time
to walk here

Insects nudge me in my dreams
like the 5 honey bees plus
the strange one
Intelligent bee glances buzzing

to say   Let me out    The fake
lights confuse us
confuses the source

Worker bee buzzed my neck
directly   me not turning off
lamps fast enough

Please
     just open the door
to the sun

Autumn Poem 2012

Call capable
      a lemony
light & fragile

Time like a ball and elastic

so I can stop burning the pots

        wondering yes       electric stove

She is her   but I don't reme
mber                         remember
the ashes I obsess    She said

I was obsessed with
(not wanting to work with
ashes)

     Mandible dream
    says the street
& ash work

              because the scorn
and ions long
there   I wor   I woke up
in the overlooked dark

           I work
do that warp    twistingly
wrap the dead

Black and white like the
long-dead    starved pet rodent
eating the basement
        curtains and peanut shells


  I walk    I wal
I walks down sometimes
why the advi

abide    the advice was

not "Fair better"
but "Fail better"

Auto dish soap
½ and ½
Coffee beans

Bake the golden things
Rust colors
Rust colors

Haunted Sonnet

Haunt lonely and find when you lose your shadow
secretive house centipede on the old window

You pronounce Erinys as “Air-n-ease”
Alecto: the angry    Magaera: the grudging

Tisiphone: the avenger (voice of revenge)
“Women guardians of the natural order”

Think of the morning dream with ghosts     
Why draw the widow’s card and wear the gorgeous

Queen of Swords crown                Your job is
to rescue the not-dead woman before she enters

the incinerating garbage shoot      wrangle silver
raccoon power          Forever a fought doll

She said, “What do you know about Vietnam?”
Violet energy ingots      Tenuous knowing moment

Related Poems

Bomb Crater Sky

They say that you, a road builder
Had such love for our country
You rushed out and waved your torch
To call the bombs down on yourself
And save the road for the troops

As my unit passed on that worn road
The bomb crater reminded us of your story
Your grave is radiant with bright-colored stones
Piled high with love for you, a young girl

As I looked in the bomb crater where you died
The rain water became a patch of sky
Our country is kind
Water from the sky washes pain away

Now you lie down deep in the earth
As the sky lay down in that earthen crater
At night your soul sheds light
Like the dazzling stars
Did your soft white skin
Become a bank of white clouds?

By day I pass under a sun-flooded sky
And it is your sky
And that anxious, wakeful disc
Is it the sun, or is it your heart
Lighting my way
As I walk down the long road?

The name of the road is your name
Your death is a young girl's patch of blue sky
My soul is lit by your life

And my friends, who never saw you
Each has a different image of your face