Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


White Boy Time Machine: Override

No matter where we go, there’s a history
of white men describing a landscape

so they can claim it. I look out the window
& I don’t see a sunset, I see a man’s

pink tongue razing the horizon.
I once heard a man describe the village

in Vietnam where my family comes from.
It was beautiful

a poem I would gift my mother
but somewhere in the pastoral I am reminded

a child (recently) was blown apart
after stepping on a mine, a bulb, I guess

blooming forty years later—
maybe it was how the poet said dirt

or maybe it was how he used fire
to describe the trees.

Credit


From Not Here (Coffee House Press, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Hieu Minh Nguyen. Used with the permission of Coffee House Press.

Author


Hieu Minh Nguyen

Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of Not Here (Coffee House Press, forthcoming in 2018). 

Date Published: 2018-04-10

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/white-boy-time-machine-override