Compromise

— Eric Tran

            I know I’m not alone
when I dream of him,
            or wonder what if
because when news breaks
            in winter my aunts ask
if I knew him, if
            he was gay, the first winter
they’ve said gay
            so gently, though not
suicide, at least at first,
            or remark how similar
his reflection was to mine.
            Gay and/or depressed and/or Asian.
We know silence,
            or I should say fear
nursed fat by love,
            draws a circle around us,
builds us a home
            in the rain. And there,
over a pot of new rice
            warm and plumped
like a fresh garden bed,
            I don’t ask if they dream
what will become of me,
            when I’ll reveal myself
as a dark, endless cave
            under collapse. I don’t
dream I reassure them,
            but I see him, crying,
singing as cranes do
            and I leap from my bed
arms flecked
            with feathers and I chase
him, a game, under
            a waxing moon
we don’t think to admire.


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