the madrigal, volume iii.v
Pham Doan Trang
by Khải Đơn
I first met her in a photo
standing among ravaged farmers surrounded
by riot police
Homesteads collapsed neighbors handcuffed
children cried breathless
Years later, she limped towards me
right leg broken faltered police
By a leisure coffee she wished to be a guitarist
when there are no more victims of land grabs
Skyscrapers rise penetrating
our eyes in the relentless wealthiness.
She walked into jail when farmers
were shot ——
New wealth justifies injustice
Villages torn farmers left land scorched
Her broken guitar hums
Suffocates my ignorance.
Khải Đơn is a second-year MFA student in Creative Writing at San Jose State University and a Fulbright scholar. Her poem was accepted by Orion Magazine for issue in 2022. Her nonfiction piece was published in The Architectural Review, Singapore Unbound. She won the Academy of American Poets/Virginia de Araujo Prize, 2021, at San Jose State University (USA).