Parable of a Brief Ceasefire

Monica Sok

A man is a man inside a banyan climbing on temple roofs.I feel large banyans climb the walls; whole jungles flee themselves.There are men inside the banyans, men who breathe and brown in the sun                   and shimmer their limbs with the wind.A banyan is a man that climbs the temple walls. I am called Left-Behind.                                             I am called Left-Behind, a starfish with a child’s head
and two limbs that point down.The banyans are my family. The banyans are orphans like me.Ta Prohm:          Banyans walk around with their tentacles at night.The tremors of their fleeing: mosquitos scared the banyans who sit with their               roots hanging.The men are my brothers; the men and I are orphans and mosquitos, too,               orphans.The men knock from night. They knock but do not want to come in.

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Monica Sok is a Cambodian-American poet from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, Kundiman, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and the Stadler Center for Poetry. She holds an MFA in creative writing from New York University.

The Kenyon Review

May/June 2018

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