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My Yellow Heart


It starts with an email, an invitation: Eclipse and eclipse are parentheses around vivid attention. Treat this time as its own. Note changes. Make lists to catalog, and prevent erasure.


1. These lists are containers, sometimes for broken-down things:

a. debris, old electronics

b. mollusks (husks)

c. cave echoes

d. quadrants, to taste


2. These lists are feasts, sometimes with others:

a. seaweed and white fish, shrimp tempura

b. bread

c. olive oil from the middle / of the sea and east your apex

d. tomatoes flecked with salt

e. eggplants, in afterthought bites


3. These parentheses gather time, gently:

a. my midnight: soft

b. the basket of an afternoon


4. This map traces things:

a. like roots

1. and leaves 

2. and rivers

3. and 

4. death and the moon, in shadow

In a series of enumerations on love and filial duty, crypto lows and inflationary highs, on the vagaries of the exhausted body, of the gigging immigrant body—Vi Khi Nao’s My Yellow Heart shows us that the cultivation of daily attention is an act of transfiguration. Nothing is off limits, for Vi’s poetry is as capacious as the empyrean sky—weird, tender, and above all, alive.

– Jackie Wang, author of The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void
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