Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

fever dreams in hà nội

By Nam Nguyen

when you’re at the bottom of a well

the minutest caress of sunlight can

feel like a dangling hook itching for

your lips slaking the thirst of loneli-

ness with another sort of bondage.


i am in here spinning silences out

of the nettles of mist as the blood

slow-drips into the condensed milk

i’ve set aside for my morning coffee

brewing hot with neapolitan desire.


searched for a sun in unclouded broth

plucked a rose that bled in longing i

negotiate the spine of the book you

left behind and look to see if appeared

i did in any sprawling annotation.


how to grow old in the presence of

a crowd that can’t understand weak-

ness in the teeth of the enemy or

swooning from the labor of the sun—

they’d rob the blush from my cheeks.


peering out of the oculus of my fever

dream i see a starry blindness someone

has swept away the fog and my broken

compass if they didn’t know i was down

here they might never bother to find out.

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