When Asked Why I Write Poems About My Parents

Susan Nguyen

I am trying to build a bridge but I am an animal

startled and scared I startle and scare the sound dies

before it is out of my body how many ways to say

this I opened my mouth and excelled in some intonations

the others caught in a web glowing and growing

in the breeze circling its green wing around me what I wanted

to say but didn’t when my beloved says don’t assume

they don’t understand don’t care they are trying

are you trying I go to unhinge and it wants to jump down

my throat animal not a web after all a metal trap

inside it I contend that I was not born in a household

of silence language a disease I decided it for myself

tended to it like one tends a garden no a carcass

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