sounds & silences

Born in Sadec, Vietnam in the aftermath of war, Samantha Lê immigrated to San Francisco when she was nine.  She now lives amongst the foothills and vineyards of California’s central coast where she paints, hikes and reinvents old, family recipes.  A recipient of the James D. Phelan Literary Award and the Donor Circle for the Arts Grant, Lê holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San José State University.  Her publications include a collection of poetry and short stories, a CD of poetry set to original jazz music, a novel inspired by biographical events, and a children’s book.



Defining Love

I only need a moment—
a moment to come into my own,
a moment
to free myself from this lonely space
that lives between the sunken shadows
and laughing lights.

I only need a moment—
a moment to detangle myself
from the sweet smelling
cherry blossoms
of childhood—
in order to become the woman
who stands before you now
with white plums
in her wrinkled hands,
asking again for forgiveness.

I only need a moment—
a moment to rediscover
the paintings of my heart,
the dragonflies and butterflies
on ruffled ties—
just a moment longer
to recognize… memorize…
the beauty in your deep brown eyes
when it’s reflecting mine.

I only need a moment—
one simple moment,
to recall
just exactly why,
and exactly how it has become
that I am the woman you’ve sworn to love.

by Samantha Lê
First published in My Solitude.  ©2003 by ​Samantha Lê.  For permission requests, please use the contact form.

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

-Erich Fromm