poem by Samantha Lê, music by Ryan Loyd Delusion Carried a single branch inside my river, downstream through milky lashes, tattooed lips and deceitful thighs. We are unreliable and cruel like the water. Carried you into goodbye fingers of spicy savage lickers…  carried you like a burden… like a shameful secret. You are the life, … Continue reading Delusion

Second Name

1. When the revolution ended, history was rewritten. The victor penned Sài Gòn her second name— her boulevards relabeled, buildings gutted, new monuments erected, and a yellow star dipped in blood unfurled above her rooftops— but those who loved her, will always love her as Sài Gòn. To those who conquered her, she became the … Continue reading Second Name

My Father’s Son

Your brown and raisin foot is watching me. It mocks my innocence and naiveté; it kicks and pokes and jabs and pinches me, with every move it labors bitterly. It speaks in a stranger’s tongue, so wise and old, the tongue of someone who has tasted gold, but swallowed dirt instead, and never told of … Continue reading My Father’s Son

From the Platform on First Street

a dispassionate rain sprinkles colors onto glassy morning tracks faded creatures in shapes of blue and sleeplessness—going gone the warning whistles of the watchful conductor           gone the smoke that caught the wind and stained the air ~ by ​Samantha Lê --- First published in the anthology Invention: Poems that Celebrate Who … Continue reading From the Platform on First Street

Yellow Fruit Bowl

Your half eaten apple lies rotten— a mutilated carcass— in our yellow fruit bowl. I can't throw it out, this oxygen-infested fruit, because you still breathe within it. And I haven't picked the fruits like you've asked me; your sun-burn apples and oranges still hang limply from their branches in our yard; waiting... as I … Continue reading Yellow Fruit Bowl

Dear Husband

She is your daughter. Your tongue flaps, like a catfish dragged from muddy water on pointed hook, between her iron jaws. Jaws that snap shut into the flat line of your EKG the day your hairy heart stopped. Each time she smiles your cigarette- stained teeth grind me in the face, daring me to hold … Continue reading Dear Husband

Searching for Religion in Iced Tea

I. The voice of god stomps through centuries and blood baths—like persistent wild flowers sprouting through the cracks of fallen civilizations— to reach my ears.  It is as soothing as a summer afternoon in the Arizona desert—with naked skin charred and scorched by blades of sun. His holy third eye blinks to reveal gray caterpillar … Continue reading Searching for Religion in Iced Tea

Mary Jane

Oh, Mary Jane, your bitter, sweet taste still lingers in my mouth, as you curl and dance from my drunken lips. Your shapeless tongue licks and tickles my nose, like a saxophone reed that vibrates sadly inside this Paris tunnel, on a sticky August evening. I hang on to you, just to breathe you, like … Continue reading Mary Jane

Fresno Burning

…round, and round, and round again… summer drips from the cracks and hinges of our rented doors and windows, like runny ice cream between chubby, greedy fingers. … round, and round… the air inside our apartment swells with pregnant heat, even the fan labors as it turns… …round, and round, and round again. …up and … Continue reading Fresno Burning