Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry

Issue 4 | Winter 2012

III.Some poets we barely name aloud.
We’ve no words to mention them without a fight.

Better a song of the cicadas or wonder why the edge is always windy
Than certain summer lights burning within some ‘since then’
Who view their nephew’s cap askew.

We can revive chứ nôm and laugh over a quaint ca dao.
Who contests a tanka, a writhing line of kanshi, a sassy sestina
Or a smoldering ghazal as a harbor of the enemy.

But those who prod the waves against my burning home,
Can I welcome them, no matter how prosperous my road became?
There are consequences for even an inch of ink, or else words fail, surely?

The pen heals. Preserves. Remembers. Forgives in time, by necessity.
But time won’t be rushed for either small souls or legends, the grass or the trees.