Fred Marchant

Issue #
February 3, 2014

Crossing Nguyen Du Street (Hanoi)

Advice we had was to just step right out,
         like wading
in a stream. Motorbikes—hundreds of them
         sputtering, honking—
would find a way around us. We were told
         we must
not be erratic or hesitant, for that would
         throw off
everyone. So, trusting these our friends,
         poets, here
on the street named for the poet of Kieu,
         we leaned
into the traffic as if it were only light wind
         flowing around
our faces, and we imagined a world at that
         instant utterly
merciful, and belonging to those few who,
         as they
passed smiling looked upon us as if we might
         be forgiven.

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