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  • ALINA NGUYEN

FIRST IN FLIGHT

I know how hard it was

for Mom to leave

her family in Boise

in the Summer of ’91.

For love—was it—or for Los Angeles?

She went for Dad, sitting

atop a sandal on N. Bonnie Brae—

his first four-household apartment.

Bà Nội. Uncle 5. Aunt 6.

He’d watched the sedans, truck

up & down the street, away

from Việt Nam forever.

It was different then, a quick

meeting of two strangers in Manila.

Two queer kids later, 29

years of marriage this November.

Real tình.

I am laying on a lichen green

couch in ’20—a broken tune

in the bustle of a changed LA.

Trái tim đã tan rồi.

Tôi nhớ rất nhiều

her wit. Her knack

for remembering songs.

Tiếng hát xinh đẹp in her Sports

Wrangler. Busted

right back light.

Catawampus NC plate.



Alina Nguyen is a poet from Los Angeles, CA who often writes about her family's experiences in Việt Nam and the United States. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Asian American Studies from California State University, Northridge. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach. Her poems have appeared in Chaparral, Indicia, and more. Outside of writing, she enjoys meditation and wants to learn screenprinting next.

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