By Yvonne Nguyen
Wild grass grows golden, tall enough that
I cannot find my own feet in front of me.
Sometimes I lay down,
invisible in the dead forest of my own front yard, thinking
that as long as no one mowed the lawn, no one
would find me here. My eyes trace the curved line
that the drooping gutter makes and I cannot
help but smile back at this house. This house
that is faltering from the unforgiving sway of
time collects my carelessness on its walls in the form of
peeling wallpaper, so now the still flowers curve toward me
like real flowers do at the end of spring.
My home is more like a collage of broken pieces,
unaware of their own misfortune.
I cannot imagine sleeping in a different bed. Because at least
when I wake up with my skin burning,
I do not cry out,
I know the bed bugs have found me.
My body is the same
as a childhood home with splintered floorboards.
I am lucky enough to
recognize my traumas when they come around again.
So, when I wake up with a racing heartbeat
and a pair of lungs that heave
and a body that is sticky
with the heat of remembering too well,
I’ll know which memory has me by the throat.
Yvonne Nguyen is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, currently teaching English Language Arts in Richmond, Virginia. “Minefield” And “The Places We Inhabit” were first published in Call Me [Brackets]. Recently, her poem “I Would’ve Called Her Honey” was shortlisted for the Brain Mill Press Poetry Month Award. Other works of hers can be read in The Roadrunner Review, Down in the Dirt, Bewildering Stories, Ginosko Literary Magazine, Yes Poetry, and Plainsongs. Her work has also been nominated for the 2019 Best of the Net Award and the 2020 Pushcart Prize. Upcoming work of hers may be read in the Corpus Callosum Press.