i fold wontons with a man i love. under the dim kitchen light, the wontons
look like round seeds tucked into an expectant belly, and i am looking for a moment
to fold in the secret i’m carrying.
i want to say i saw the future because you came from it; i want to show him
where you are, nestled in the cradle of my hips but he and i are two souls
enfolded in a fragile membrane that i am afraid of breaking. i am trying to make
room for you, wrapping the wonton skins tighter in hopes they stay whole in the heat.
later, he will go home, and never come back. how was i to know what i would lose?
that his wontons, clumsily wrapped, would burst open in the hot broth,
that in two weeks time i would bleed out everything that remained of us,
how you would both move on from this: you, to oblivion him to happiness;
and i would remain, trying to follow you both to places i can never go.
Kimberly Nguyễn is a Vietnamese-American diaspora poet current living in New York City. She was a recipient of a Beatrice Daw Brown Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for Frontier Poetry's 2021 OPEN and New Poets Awards. Her work can be found in diaCRITICS, perhappened mag, Hobart, Muzzle Magazine, and others. She was a 2021 Emerging Voices Fellow at PEN America, and she has a forthcoming collection in Fall 2022.