White Boy Time Machine: Override
By Hieu Minh Nguyen
No matter where we go, there’s a history
of white men describing a landscape
so they can claim it. I look out the window
& I don’t see a sunset, I see a man’s
pink tongue razing the horizon.
I once heard a man describe the village
in Vietnam where my family comes from.
It was beautiful
a poem I would gift my mother
but somewhere in the pastoral I am reminded
a child (recently) was blown apart
after stepping on a mine, a bulb, I guess
blooming forty years later—
maybe it was how the poet said dirt
or maybe it was how he used fire
to describe the trees.