︎︎︎ Vi Khi Nao

︎ June 1, 2021

Asphyxiation beckons

from the outfield of desire
of vi cá, its pathetic needs.

How will you subjugate me?

deflection from ambulance to ambulance.

Folly spits
past sodium,

an erratic rose
windswept near your bed

You then seized
the ships of five hundred

somnolent merchants
too remote to kiss & dismiss.

The ecosphere befalls
into a dormant fetish.

Mouths for consent
and only rashly.

Mouths for sampling
mauled in an hour.

Lifetimes of submission
Split your voice in halves.

The droning and
the droning.

My misplaced
trust revisits you

like a woman with grommets
punctured throughout her flesh.

Fixated kingfishers
On the clothesline observe you

merely as stand-in windchimes
to petition the air.

After a drone appears
without supervision, I have been

forced to recoil
but the awakening

won’t perish even
when I cease existing.

* Bar-Nadav, Hadara: “Telephone Pole”:

Vi Khi Nao’s work includes poetry, fiction, film, play, and cross-genre collaboration. She is the author of the novels: Fish in Exile and Swimming With Dead Stars (out in Spring 2022) and the story collections: The Vegas Dilemma & A Brief Alphabet of Torture (winner of the 2016 FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize) and of five poetry collections:  Bell Curve Is A Pregnant Straight Line, Human Tetris, Sheep Machine, Umbilical Hospital, and The Old Philosopher (winner of the 2014 Nightboat Prize). She was the fall 2019 fellow at the Black Mountain Institute.