We named you twice;
first as poetry, second as insurance.
Press one to your ear & you will hear
Đà Lạt in full bloom.
Gray-crowned crocias thrashing dawn
because they have no need for rest
or safe words. See how the perennials,
barely brushed by war, boast
flower faces, powdered
skin. Sugar cane, honey-
mooners cradled in our Valley of Love.
Romance to their spring fling. King
of agritourism. Carry that Indochinese
charm like no Other. Hair straightened
into submission. Exotic pet,
make their fever run yellow. & when
Le Petit Paris feels too niche,
turn to your second name,
a dressing for foreign food. Relish
in the common tongue. Act as the Saxon
nymph they think you are
& you will do well or at least better
than us. Hold onto this one like a pledge to
God. Even though you don’t believe
in playing games, you must play this
for our sake. Last thing:
your truest calling is the toughest one.
They’ll try to take it out, chop
the leftovers into bites, sound
easier on the ear.
But never mind.
A butchered name
is still a name