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a father's passport




my father does not know me by my name / from that moment on / all was forgotten / I watch him burn his passport / headfirst into fire / male / Sai Gon / 1954 / he crossed a young kingfisher on a basket boat / a fruit market boat / a worn down overseas boat / when guns fell into the mouths of boat people / king


fisher dove into the waters / floating between ripened rambutans / howls came from the river / like a child’s chest / that heaved to the national anthem / heaved until their heads laid / between a wheel & a bumper / full circle / if he returns / scrape the burns off the baguette / he is reminded by the stone


pestle & mortar / churning the baby jackfruit / the bright red latches onto his hands / the way a daughter latches onto a father / who went out to cry & never came back / three fingers dragged across a yellow flag / ba ơi / I wish you knew me by my name / he dismantles the star out of a blood pool / & throws it into the night sky.


Through deviating our everyday manners to non-everyday manners, Kwinnie Lê wants to reveal stories that are not always visible. They reveal themselves in performances, installations & poetry. Currently, Lê is researching her family's history, refugees of the Vietnam war, as well as unearthing the lost tattooing traditions of Vietnam. She is based in the Netherlands in Europe.

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