(ISSN: 1527-5467)
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.


JUL 2010




                 DIEP TRUNG HA



                 a poem by DIEP TRUNG HA



                          Facing It, Again

                                 (inspired by Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing It”)

… dedicated to those who didn’t make it …



Yusef, you’re not alone,

but my face doesn’t fade

like your black face fades,

hiding inside the black granite.

My face can’t hide ─ I am not inside

the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

You found Andrew Johnson.

I keep searching.   

Where’s the name Lê Đức Nam?

I remember.  He got married

right after Thủ Đức, not his place

of choice, only to leave behind

a young widow, with child. 

Where’s the name Lý thị Lan?

I remember reading about her: 

old enough to leave for the rough

jungle, only never to exit it. 

You go down the 58,022 names.

I still look for the other

1,284,000 names ─ names

like Lan and names like Nam.

Another face, like my face,

under a thin cloud of white hair,

moves slowly

across the black wall.

I turn, but he’s gone.

I face it, again. 

A helicopter flies across.

I see no black smoke, only

the names written on it.

Yusef, you’re not alone.

I too want to face it,

the black granite

with the names spelling the faces

like the face facing me facing

the black mirror.


                                   DIEP TRUNG HA




The Writers Post
the magazine of literature

& literature-in-translation,

founded 1999, based in the US.




Copyright © 2010 Diep Trung Ha

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