Since 1996 Volume XXIII

                 Hongvan Nguyen

Hongvan Nguyen was born in Saigon, South Vietnam. In 1975, the communists of North Vietnam defeated the South Vietnam’s Army and took over South Vietnam when she was a public student in middle school. After 6 years of living under the brutal control of the communist government, she left Vietnam through the help of the American Government and her mother’s effort to take her out. She came to the United States to reunite with her mother in 1981. In 1985 she got her first college degree, an A.A. degree in computer studies from Catonsville Community College, and in 2006, a B.A. degree in English with a concentration in poetry from George Mason University. She is the author of three poetry books, Under the Stone, The Chickadees and Crossing Places. Her 1st book was the 2011 Readers' Favorite Award Finalist. Her 2nd book won 1st Place Award with Five Stars Publications for its 2011 Royal Dragonfly Book Competition. And her third book, Crossing Places won the Fall 2018 Pinnacle Achievement Award.

                                  In the Moonlight




As a recluse during a meditating period,

 I did not go out much, especially in the

 entire fall season; still I met him once

 in a while. My place was a nook where I

 nuzzled, scratched and perforated the papers

 in and out of the polemics in the most

 pensive states. He was the savior who wanted

 to mend the holes oxidized in my soul

 with patches of consolation. On weekends,

 we became hobos loitering through the

 streets, the shops, and restaurants. He fleeced.

 I prinked. There were differences between

 us, but at least we had one common point,

 two lonely beings who spoke the same

 language living among those who spoke

 a different language, but that did not

 make us become total strangers because

 like any friendly couple living on this  earth

 we were speaking the same language  of

 friendship. A few nights, we spent doing

 the same things other couples do although

 in the day times we had different onuses.

 There was no opacity in our souls; they

 were glazed with impalpable infuses,

 our bodies’ dissoluble touches, all of

 which brought us out of an inanimate

 world and into an ineffable indulgence

 that we had been deprived of from the

 infested world during the day times.









That April was not like any other April of any year;

 happy and sad intertwined every two seconds.

 Happy? Yes, in the afternoon after having learned


 that the war had finally ended.  No more deadly

 battles. Sad? Also true, because of not knowing what

 was going to happen next. Chaos, political revenges,


 prisons, exiles, all that were occurring. Curfew all day

 for three days, everyone stayed inside without going

 anywhere. Silent, empty streets like cemeteries’ streets,


 hurriedly walking people with horrified faces. Still

 some had very happy faces of the strange soldiers coming

 from the Ho-Chi-Minh’s Trail with strange military


 uniforms: rattan sandals, marsh-lentil hats and a

 Northern dialect. Dead bodies exposed on the streets.

 Flows of escapers jostled one another to get on liners,


 helicopters and big ships; others shunned into the woody

 areas or crossed the borders, and the rest were arrested.

 The Presidential Gates struck by armored cars and tanks


 collapsed. From each corner of each town echoed the

 strange, vigorous songs proclaiming the victory of the

 Revolution, and in the morning, a new anthem was played 


 with a strange-looking flag drawn up that astounded and

 frightened people while in the offices of the South Military

 Leaders, five suicidal deaths were discovered, five bodies


 of five Generals with bullets in their heads. They took their

 own lives to substitute for the failure of a war that they could

 not win, nor did they wish to live to see their enemies’ victories. 








I want to replenish what I have been omitted,

but I can’t concentrate because of remembering you


When was the last time I saw you, I can’t remember.

As it once happened to me, it happened again.


I knew it but I couldn’t resist it any more than I could

tighten that noose around my neck one more time,


and now I am reading my own obituary.  There was

no rancor, no rage, nor please; only and always pale


reactions instead. I accepted it as to begin a game,

a plaintive game or worse, phrenetic and salacious.


And the result, I became molten.  But you are still
intact because of my fearful simulated faith.

Copyright, 2019, Hongvan Nguyen.

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