Derek’s Father Remembers Saigon

Brian Komei Dempster

The rustle

          in a thicket

of gingko,


waiting between

          trees. Teeth

of the gibbon


above, my arm

          around the throat

of a stranger,

          choking words

I don’t


Rough sand

          of his skin, beads

of rain spilling

          into his black

hair. All

          that follows

us. The warmth

          against me, his struggle,

his body

          foreign, I drag him

to the river.

          In the blood-orange


          of the moon,

I lean over

          the current,

let go.


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