Smooth skinned orange interior exterior

your pull more intense than gravity
adamant kiss wet on wet

textures in-between

your sweetness croons
of days
in Việt Nam those simmering Texas days mother’s
varieties of hồng
from her garden crunchy & silken
those Tokyo 東京 days

diligently on branches
during December in Japan you

leisurely turning snow to fire
you turn as the earth’s axis does
adorning skeletal trees

like a design for a new brimmed hat
mid-winter snow dusts your curves

feverish thoughts

lan headshot nm Internationally known multi-artist, poet, writer, painter, photographer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer, dancer and teacher of the Argentine tango, Mộng-Lan left her native Vietnam on the last day of the evacuation of Saigon. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Juniper Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Awards for Poetry, she is the author of eight books and chapbooks, the most recent of which is One Thousand Minds Brimming. Other books include Song of the Cicadas; Why is the Edge Always Windy?, Tango, Tangoing: Poems & Art; Tango, Tangueando: Poemas & Dibujos (the bilingual Spanish-English edition); Love Poem to Tofu & Other Poems (poetry & calligraphic art, chapbook); Love Poem to Ginger & Other Poems: poetry & paintings (chapbook); and Force of the Heart: Tango, Art. Mong-Lan’s poetry has been nationally and internationally anthologized to include being in Best American Poetry; The Pushcart Book of Poetry: Best Poems from 30 Years of the Pushcart Prize; Asian American Poetry: the Next Generation; Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (Norton); and has appeared in leading American literary journals. A Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam, she received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona. Her most recent poetry & jazz piano album, Dreaming Orchid: Poetry & Jazz Piano was just released. Visit:

feature image via Mộng-Lan.

Comments are closed.