Think of your great-grandmother
in woven silk,
countless threads through her hands
weaving lines intersecting
her face and palms,
her children who compose
your motherland fabric.
Songsters of Cambodia’s golden age—
Ros SreySothea, Sin Sisamouth, Penn Ran—
blare from past decades in static
singing across time
through a rusty accordion.
We have numerous words for eat:
see, nyam, hoap, chan, pisaah.
Each bite is love.
Yiey asks if you are hungry—
because it took thirty years
to say I love you like an American.
You imagine a future not yet past
of grandfather’s garden in Georgia,
untended in the southern red clay
where fruit trees have taken root.
Someday you will taste dragonfruit
on par with his on the streets of Phnom Penh.
Tha’s face is bright when he sees you
enjoy its flesh, studded with seeds.
He says, I wish I could be here
when the apple trees bloom.