from Umbilical Hospital

Vi Khi Nao

Your Clitoris Is Gone

You are an alien wearing a sheep-asshole hat &
candlelight pokes out from the softest ether &
your eyes are born out of sheep pasterns and you
are wearing a contour mask for the wyes and the
clitoris is gone. Your clitoris is gone, disappeared
probably in your butt crack, or perhaps it has
grown smaller, smaller than a pearl. Your face &
smile are grim as the night. There is a window
on your forehead that leads through the
mountain. You can see the landscape there. And
you multiply yourself five times. What are you?
Then? If not a sheep machine?

You Walk Around A Lake Waiting For A Star To Adopt You

You walk around a lake, waiting for a star to
adopt you. And when it appears, to adopt you,
that is, you can feel the five seeds of infinity gaze
back at you with their burly tongues, hanging
down like those werewolf dogs, hyphenating
their salivating panting and you think it’s
possible for you to hyperventilate now. All five
dogs wearing insignificant crowns, betraying the
heat of the ontological question: Am I still alive?
You take each one aside to question the source
of its exhaustion. Does infinity behave like a
dog? Panting? Hyperventilating? You do not
know your infinite circles of darkness.

Is It Possible? Does It Seem?

Is it possible? Does it seem? Five scrawny
Egyptian drag queens are wearing dark garden
oasis dresses with matching headdresses, their
five pairs of twiggy, spiderlike legs dangling out.
The five queens are united at the pelvic bones by
the pentagonal structure floating on the cosmic
bed. Are they swimming or are they recumbent,
getting their annual avocado-colored tan? Sheep
cluster together like dandelions. Wheat in the
wind. Wheat and other combinations of life.

You Ask Poetry To Live By Itself In The Wood

You expect nothing to happen, but something
has already happened. You ask poetry to live by
itself in the wood. You ask politely. Very
politely. Maybe out of pride and rigor. And
then, an array of wheat shows up, blurring the
line between blondness and sheep’s wool. And
naturally, the web of spiders keeps you in the
wood. You keep yourself there until you break
apart like twigs.

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Vi Khi Nao was born in Long Khanh, Vietnam. Vi's work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. She is the author of two novellas, Swans In Half-Mourning (2013) and The Vanishing Point of Desire (2011), and her poetry collection, The Old Philosopher, was the winner of 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize. Her novel, Fish In Exile, will make its first appearance in Fall 2016 from Coffee House Press. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University.