KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Prose Poem: 206 words

Vietnamese Soup

by Dan Gilmore

Don’t ask me to name my deepest feelings or tell you what fierce heat lies in my heart. Today I rage with the unwanted passion of sure defeat, a manufactured man, constructed carelessly of twigs and leaves, and when I’m feeling this way, I find it useful to ask, what do I want one more time before age sweeps this foliage away? Could I use more knowledge and insight into the human soul? Not really. I don’t make good use of what little I have. What I really want is one more bowl of Vietnamese soup. I want to steep myself in the steamy odors of basil, ginger, star anise, and the salty-sweet taste of Hoisin sauce. I want to feel the snap of fresh bean sprouts, the slithering smoothness of steamy rice noodles as I lift them into my mouth with chopsticks. And while I’m at it, I would like a large window in the restaurant and a strong wind outside that makes the glass tremble. I’d like to see my teachers, counselors, ex-wives, and self-help gurus lined up outside with their faces pressed to the glass, looking in with perplexed piety trying to figure out how I ever got to be this happy.

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