Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2017  Vol. 16 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Gỏi Gà

I told her Vietnamese coldslaw
Lives with crushed peanuts

She tells me peanuts like peppers
Come from the America

So this dish is a young dish
A bit older than 1500s.

In the morning I boiled a pot
With a cleaver, I divided the whole

Chicken born in the woods,
The same lady who made goat milk soap

Into sectional proportions
The thighs and wings would be

Mutilated with chicken broth,
Red sauce, ginger, red onion;

The breasts white as
A geisha’s face will enter a

Pot of boiling water
I spent all afternoon crushing

The shredded floral bodies of
The cabbage, the hearts of mint leaf

The heads of cilantro and shredding
Pre–cooked chicken breasts

Until the geisha’s face
Becomes shards of crumpled light

That we all could eat
In the late evening with

Crushed fish sauce made with
Lime juice, unfiltered fish,

Serrano, garlic dipped in radiant
Light called post–dawn.  

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