january sixteenth

Thomas Nguyen

it has been eight years
since your body fell

apart, and I still
find myself trying to find you

the way flashes of light

seem to converge from a point
just beyond the clouds

and reach,
I think it might be you

trying to get through to me.
you used to trace

the contours in my palms,
calloused fingertips

trailing from the curves
as you struggled

to tell me
they were lifelines.

tell me
bà ngoại

would you let me
rebuild you?

calcified bone
netted rib

with bloody heart
and the living body’s noise.