Ryan Nhu


No claim to lay
               to this mottled plot
                               by the municipal jetty

where the wishbones and lockets pile high—

arms, grabbing at sea           glass, anything
blunt or blown. Must             this rubbing end

in erosion? No matter. I push my cart along as

                               waves strip the city
               to ribbons, the lake
spun out with thirst.


Someone blames the moon. Someone unloads
a truckload of stones onto the shore. We admit
the coast but rarely its (our) cause: just one edge
against another, and all this haggling for a cure.


Here, where no fetish is left
              unturned. Where I wash up

men for my haunts and urges
              and collect worry stones by

the fistful. I’m a Vietnamese
              American peddler, for every

grief deserves a trinket. Say,
              how many holes do you need

rings for? Recognize yourself
              among my hoops and tassels?