Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

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fever dreams in hà nội

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.


It takes a lot for humans to say
          the Earth does absolutely nothing
for the moon, though maybe it’s easier
          for us to say we’ve been doing

a lot more now, since the discovery
          of water at the lunar poles in 2008,
making the moon the obvious choice
          for an off-planet colony, provided

we could melt all the celestial ice
          jeweled in her fabled pockmarks,
the same way we could melt most
          of the ice on Earth, but this time

less discursively, as if we could afford
          to live with either, after the society
to which we still think ourselves indebted
          has long ceased to care about

our worlds and moons, which has only
          left us feeling even more sedated
than before to the need to pay it back
          with more interest somehow, but enough

about politics, since none of it really
          interests the moon, whose essence
can be said to be atomic, legible
          to the human eye only in the form

of earthen favors, like her pull on tides and
          the Earth’s rotation, grounding him
in the poetics of going slow, or her incitement
          of all manner of verse, myth and folklore

which all fail to capture her cold light
          and its marvelous ability to also be warm
at the same time, like a wool sweater
          that shocks itself itching for flesh.

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