SHE GREW HER HAIR LONG
When I was away
my momma grew her horse hair
until it fell to her hip in silver strings.
She has hair the color of charred
vegetables with licks of glint
from river water. She hoofs it in
and out of the studio.
like tumbleweeds that topple in brittle
triangulation. It will not crack and break,
it splits before it ends
Rather—it shutters in and out as lungs
when I hug her hello.
VIETNAM MISSIVE: JULY
I live in this shit swamp
Outside Ho Chi Minh City
Order crabs with chemical compounds
Encased in neon shells.
There is a sludge river
A man lives there in the bank
Collecting scrub that floats and shrimp
For tea time on plastic stools.
My olive skin is not quite the
I collect stares and deposit them to
The goldfish lady who has tied them
To a motorbike.
To the Noodle Man
You are my God in this polluted
I eat your bun thit nuong ga until
My stomach hurts—
I order one more bowl for a trudge home.
I carry a fish
Up the mountain—
The fish is as big as a small child
And it cries softly until it sees the waterfall.
There are red peppers growing at the
Bottom of a pool and two monks
Smoke cigs at the top,
I dare them to watch me change in the brush
As my skin turns salt and slick
We roll off the moss together into the deep.
In the pool, my fish darts figure-eights
I open my eyes under water and it whispers
Of ancient generals and castigated arteries
Telling me to be silent
Until I return it to the low tide
Connecting its ventricles back to the
Anna Suszynski graduated from Colorado College in 2016 with a degree in English, Creative Writing track. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado but moves spontaneously. She is the poetry editor for F(r)iction.