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Fall/Winter 2006/2007 Issue #63

by Linh Dinh

Frontière, frontiera, frontera,
Grenze, border, what separates
Also connects, crossing it always
Triggers an instant high, although

The geografia is exactly igual,
And la gente and arquitectura
Haven’t changed all that much.

What do you have in that trunk, Sir?
A relative? Your girlfriend? Something
White? Two tons of it? Something green,
Like horseshit, after you’ve stepped on it?

Negotiated with blood, a boundary
Is nevertherless an illogical entity.
Standing on one side, staring across,
One can’t comprehend why one isn’t
Allowed to just pop over. If someone

Draws a line on the ground, and declares,
This is something you mustn’t transgress,
The first impulse is to kick sand, naturally.

Yesterday, a naked man was spotted walking
Across the border, at its most exposed link.
Which way was he going? Does it matter?
Meanwhile, on the radio: muchacha,
Give me your cha cha!


LINH DINH is the author of two collections of stories and three books of poems. His work has been twice anthologized in Best American Poetry (2000 & 2004). He is the editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (Seven Stories Press 1996) and Three Vietnamese Poets (Tinfish 2001), and translator of the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao, Night, Fish and Charlie Parker (Tupelo 2006).

Quarterly West, Issue #63, Fall/Winter 2006/2007

  ©2006 Quarterly West
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