Tinh

She matches me

—confrontation at a glance ‘n
passing in that gaze residing under—
neath her hood. She sees
but only with her eyes, and I look elsewhere
toward the leaves in golden flocks beneath
a hapless evening sky. Its tempered rays
are scattered ‘cross black rocks
and when the fever wind should sway this
livid branch, these trees of autumn speak
in tongues amidst orange lights
as hungry fires tiptoe through the virgin
wood, their shadows cast like die
rolled over bark. So too,
does she see
and yet she does not believe.

We rendezvoused where light is cast
across cool dew one Wednesday dead
between the ragged teats of sadly dwindling
seasons—summer at the gates of puberty:
The theater used to show good movies for
a buck, but they were quick to close
this neighborhood antique, where
people's trash lined the floor inside
and stains came high up walls of faded
paint, bearing the place naked so
all may see its culture in
living color—These streets
don't stop at the movies.

She wore a heavy coat and no makeup,
long dark hair
like knives painted black ‘n kissing throats
from ear to ear
late nights, when unsuspecting dates fall
for her again.

We held hands in and when she spoke my name
it really felt like she saw me, somehow looking
past the flak, unshaven and completely
unspectacular. So when comes eve for
rude awakenings,
it will shake us back to life, and it will be
me alone in spades of discontent.

Once inside, between long rows of
empty silhouettes before a starlit screen
she handed me her guise
beneath a whitened hood, those
diamond eyes just filled with brimming
little secrets only
she could tell. This girl
need only once to smile ‘n she could
have me any way desired, inhibitions in
the back seat of this ride as
hesitation’s fraught—this girl, the shape
of everything that warms a touch, and
yet I remain afraid to touch, then tell, but in
the meantime, let us smile, baby,
let us smile. For when I
spoke her name it really felt like I meant it,
when all I could think was My baby
does not know she loves me.

by Dang Huy

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