The 2River View 20.3 (Spring 2016)

Vi Khi Nao


You stretch your music sheet
Over a stillbirth canvas

And ask the taut skin of
Silence to bellow softly
            Into the wind

Your emotion is speech
                      is intelligence

While your piano madly falls
In love with death

Lying on the grass with its legs
In the air, the piano
Is humming a song of vulgarity

Or so when it is not wearing
A skirt

Nocturnal Core

The rose isn’t afraid to
Die having dyed its
Hair purple, the color
Of death.

Several ozone layers later,
The rose isn’t afraid to
Give birth to a firing
Squad of leaves, stems
Drawing amphoral bullets
From the roots spreading
Deep + wide.

Below the waist of time,
Sedimentary pose for
Cemented soil + volcanic

The rose, after emitting a
Pollution of love, is now
Ready to conquer daylight
Seeing time, where darkness
Has woken up less darkness
From its nocturnal core.

With its heart dipped in ice,
“Now I wake up from a
dream,” says the rose.

Vi Khi Nao holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University. Her poetry collection, The Old Philosopher, was the winner of 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize. In fall 2016, Coffee House Press will publish her novel Fish in Exile. contact

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