The last time I wet the bed
my mother pulled off my pants
pinned my face to the sopping mattress
& threatened me with a needle & thread.

I’m trying to understand that memory
is not a technology, a full charge
will get you nowhere, if you’re stuck
tracing the perimeters of your dull nostalgia

for an exit. My hands clutch a wheel
attached to nothing.
I’m often asked why I left my mother
her old age scaling the high-rise of her body.

Listen, trying to forget is not the same
as leaving—sometimes we must
forget to allow forgiveness
to comb the knots from our hair.

I’m sure it’s wrong, but I have this theory:
at the root of all of our sorrow there’s a woman
taking a long sip of water. 


Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014). Hieu is a Kundiman fellow. His poems have also appeared or is forthcoming in the Southern Indiana Review, PANK, The Journal, Devil's Lake, The Paris-American, Vinyl, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Minneapolis.