Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Washing Rice (A Lục Bát)

BY JOSHUA NGUYEN

Nothing written, just feel.

Listen, here is the deal, pour water

over the rice & shower

the husk until you get murky

liquid. Clean thoroughly

by turning wrists quickly in small

circular motions. All

the milk water will fall into

the sink. Be careful. You

better not drop one too many

grains— a waste. Family

meals don’t come easily. Save all

that you can. Don’t withdraw

from the table if all your food

isn’t in you or would

you rather kneel hardwood on rice?

Fifteen belt whips than ice?

Then you learn to make rice. I am

your . I love you em.

Now, do as I say: empty the pot

& try again with all your gut.



Joshua Nguyen is a Kundiman Fellow, collegiate national poetry champion, and a native Houstonian. He has been published in The Offing, The Acentos Review, Rambutan Literary, Button Poetry, The Texas Review, Gulf Coast, and Birds Thumb. He is currently an MFA candidate at The University of Mississippi. He is a tapioca connoisseur and plays an aggressive-tight strategy in poker. You can find Joshua online here and follow him on Twitter.