The narrow clearing down to the river
I walk alone, out of breath
my body catching on each branch.
Small children maneuver around me.
Often, I want to return to my old body
a body I also hated, but hate less
Sometimes my friends—my friends
who are always beautiful & heartbroken
look at me like they know
I will die before them.
I think the life I want
is the life I have, but how can I be sure?
There are days when I give up on my body
but not the world. I am alive.
I know this. Alive now
to see the world, to see the river
rupture everything with its light.
Copyright © 2017 by Hieu Minh Nguyen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 27, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“The poem is about the little moments of love I have for the world, but also my body, which allows me to attend the world.”
—Hieu Minh Nguyen
Hieu Minh Nguyen
Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of Not Here (Coffee House Press, forthcoming in 2018).
Date Published: 2017-01-27
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/heavy