Some strenuous days I
wish to be standing
by the sharp edge of
the tallest, hardest,
most harrowing of
cliffs, with myriads
of silenced conifers,
thousands of muffled
trilobites and hundreds
of stegosaur vertebrae
encaged in the purest
chalk, whereon I would
listen to the gnashing
teeth of seas of beasts
tricked offshore by our
cunning Buddha, who,
based on his rambles,
is never reaching his
hand out to save me,
not if I leap off this
balcony, fast as a love,
into the whale-dark sea,
wishing I were Sơn Tinh to raise
   the tender earth to grab me in the fall.


Nguyen Binh is a writer from Hanoi, Vietnam. Their poetry has appeared in Puerto del Sol, The Common, and Euphony, and their verse translation of The Tale of Kiều has been slated for publication in 2025. Currently, Binh is a PhD student in astronomy at the University of Washington.

[Purchase Issue 27 here.] 


Related Posts

Anna and B donned silver ponchos, lost their hands in mitts the size of hams. They adjusted their hoods, shinier, fluffier versions of the tunnel-hoods popular on winter parkas in the 1970s (Anna had a navy blue one, orange inside, from Sears).

Museum Ice (Extended Dance Mix)

B had turned thirteen that fall, ready to join Anna on a trip that was part research, part treat and adventure, the first time they had left the country together, alone. A few days in Rosario (a university lecture, an interview with a playwright), the long bus to Buenos Aires.

Image of a wooded mountain range with gray clouds in the sky and green grass below.


As a child, I watched horror movie after horror movie. An attempt to make myself brave or to make others think I was. And now, I fear I’m manipulative because how much can a person really change.

Headshot of author Jonë Zhitia.

Nadryw | Feeling Language

I never fled into exile, I was born into exile. My only home is the autobahn between Germany and Kosovo. Dissecting: Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Montenegro—depending on which route you take. None of these countries is home to me.