“ ”

We have a soft spot for drama,
    and for memorization;

we like to share whatever we have been told.
    We liken ourselves to tadpoles, to works-in-progress,

to fishhooks, to earbuds, to loquacious
    teens, and to their vintage Princess phones.

We used to believe that, being so good
    at belatedness, we might never have to get old,

which was our mission, or our curse;
    though our true age is unclear, we have had equivalents

in nearly every civilization,
    both in our efforts at sarcasm and our attempts
at protests. Leave our single sisters alone.

We come in several shapes but are never
    heartless, or pointless, and never entirely straight

If you ever see just one of us,
    wait.

Stephanie Burt

Bonjour Vietnam