Mai Der Vang at her book release party, Fresno. Youtube

someone sneezes at a Mai Der Vang reading

& I am infumed. ㅤ ㅤ I missed
that word you hypocrite ㅤ you jerk
you have no right to be in this room
witnessing this monumental
display of art.

I am infuriated
because she resembles my aunt
& I hate it when someone tries
to interrupt my family gettogethers.

Not only because the fine lines
of her smile coincide with that
of my aunt’s ㅤ but also
there’s this same aura that shelters
everyone around the both.

I even think they have the same
name ㅤ if their names are scrubbed
off i.e. ㅤ ㅤ my aunt gets her
from the Arabic root amr ㅤlivelong!
and though I googled I couldn’t
trace the Hmong etymology
of hers ㅤ ㅤ but I think it must be
if not longevity then the afterlands.

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