Holy Grail

Holy Grail


My father changed
his name to Henry

and became King
of white people.

He pulled my spine
from my back

to prove he commanded
the holy sword.

Holy bone.
The half-corpse

of his firstborn.
I moved

as he willed. I danced.
I prostrated

myself at his feet
and said Lord.

And father. Holy
father. I rose

when he introduced
me to his partner,

an old white man
who reads books

about Buddhism.
This was the first step

towards enlightenment:
find a Vietnamese man

who has left one
body for another.

The new body a grail
for a gay immigrant

father. I am just a reminder
of the old ways. The boat

people didn’t answer
the ocean’s song

when they rowed. The ones
who did went under.

All of them leaving
behind a world

I will never understand.
This is what I mean

when I say I am spineless.
When I said my father

took it from me, I meant
to say God exists,

and he is my father,
life-bringer, holy

immigrant. My body now
my own forever.

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