h o u s e w i t h o u t a d o o r
P H A N N H I E N H A O
I live in a house without a door
Each person who visits must bring a door
on his back. Install it before sitting down
then take it with him when he leaves.
My privacy depends on
Visits from these people.
There are those who come empty-handed.
These are extremely poor folks without individuality
Gamblers and punks with pockmarked faces
stop by only to borrow money and swindle.
Spotting them I hastily leave the house
to go visit close friends.
Leaving I also carry a door on my back
(This door Iíve dislodged from my own house
only to use at other peopleís houses.)
translated from the Vietnamese by Linh Dinh
© crossconnect, inc 1995-2004
published in association with the
university of pennsylvania's
kelly writers house