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.