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Leaving Vietnam
by Hannah Nguyen

Shyly they divided
the things I wouldn't
take back to the States;
a new cherry chapstick,
unused tubes of lip gloss,
strawberry scented, soaps
and sunscreens, apple
shampoo, aloe mousse.
So carefully they twisted
the caps off bottles
of lotions, breathed in
the peach-fragrant creams,
dabbed dime-sized drops
onto their bronze skin.
One tried on a black satin
eye mask, the other a felt hat.
Tomorrow, I'd ride above
mountain, through cloud,
peer down at this distant
home growing smaller,
disappearing below, where
inside, two adolescent girls,
my cousins, would wear me,
close, for a while longer.


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