The old fool looks back on his origins
In a small kitchen with
unfinished walls, at a clean table
I’d write my poetry.
Whether it was hot or cold, pouring down
or not raining at all. There I sat,
beneath a small window, where the light
went out rather than in. I travelled
from one country to another, from one body
to another. Only just fifteen
and already there was no stopping me.
I’d write and write, not filling
the whole page. Happy and sad, watching
day and night pass by in a mirror.
I can still see myself: mom comes over
and tells me to go out in the yard,
it’s such a nice day. And I tell her
later on, in a minute.
And I go straight back
to my words. In a small kitchen
with unfinished walls and a flimsy ceiling.
I’d make a hole in the wall.
From outside, I looked like a prisoner
in Vietnam, but inside
things were different. Go
and find me if you can. On the table
the book of poetry I wrote
in that little kitchen, my mom in the yard
sweeping up leaves. Year after year.
Lonelier than anyone, or trying
not to feel alone. I’m not really sure.
They say that’s where you’ll find me.