Chapter 20: What Else Do You Want?

Sit down. State your name. Tell me your story. My name is Duc-Anh. Nguyen Duc-Anh. People always call me Nam Xi. Why the name “Nam Xi”? Because I often drink alcohol and I was the fifth child in the family. What else do you want to know? I shift my legs. My fingers start dancing […]

Since You’ve Been Gone

Since You’ve Been Gone

To M. and the memories we shared. Since you’ve been gone, I don’t even know if I’m outside more or if I’m just staying inside and imagine that I’m still on the outside. I visited the café at the corner – they’ve just opened; the menus are all new and the chairs are made of […]

Chapter 19: Only You Know

Chapter 19: Only You Know

Sit down. State your name. Tell your story. This will be a little bit personal, Sir. Yeah, but will it be relevant to the case? That I don’t know, Sir. Then tell it anyway. Are you saying that you have the authority to judge which ones of the evidences are relevant to the case and […]

Chapter 18: The Diary of Hai the Reaper

Chapter 18: The Diary of Hai the Reaper

The following events are collected from Pham Van Hai’s diary, which is considered an important piece of evidence for the case. Judging from the content of the diary, the investigators in charge of the case firmly believe that he was the partner in crime of Nguyen Van Nha and acted as the main culprit in […]

A Rose for My Mother, Part III

I don’t know what to say to you, Mother, to amend your sadness and sorrow. Apologies and gratitude, Mother, seems so useless and meaningless now. The other day you told me the story about my sister – who had struggled to survive Autism on her own and failing at that, is now just passing through […]

Letter to M., #4

Dearest M., Do forgive me for putting these words into verses Which will just complicate things and None of us will want to see; but M. Is there anything on this Earth that is ever Complicated? Dearest M., I had a dream. I don’t even know if it was about the me and you Or […]

Chapter 17: Let’s Play Make-Believe

So, Mr. Nha, do you still stand by your statement that there is no relationship, whatsoever, between you and Mr. Hai? I look at the officer’s eyes. Today, the one interrogates me is the old detective. You always know it is trouble when it comes to old detectives. Too many pains, or too many experiences, […]

#the things that help you sleep

To my unknown lover and our little joke. I will forever remember you with the not-so-authentic phrase, Je suis mermaid. After a while, you don’t even know what is helping you sleep. Be it a woman’s embrace or a man’s embrace – is there any difference? You sit on your chair and wear your tin-foil […]

#last night, I dreamed of whales

Becky leads us to the dark shade of a cherry blossom tree. The petals are flying in the air, twirling and whirling in circles. A few petals fall on Becky’s soft, hairy head. She shakes it off with annoyance and sneeze. I’m always allergic to flowers, she says. It’s strange. I thought only people are […]


Ta ghì cho tan vỡ trái tim này Cho người ăn chơi nhíu đôi lông mày Ta cười cho xanh ngát kiếp lưu đầy Cho người vũ nữ khóc tấm thân gầy. Chưa nói yêu nhau mà lòng đã đau Chưa nói mê say mà tình đã bay Chưa biết môi em mà hồn đã […]