35th – Vietnam – Khanh Dn Oehlke’s Poem

the perfect shape

by khanh dn oehlke (1999 – 2000)


the perfect shape,
i’ve come full circle.
far from home,
i’ve come so far.

we know the story far too well,
as we size, share, and compare the scars.

in quest of self,
we have found each other.
in the company of strangers,
we have found a brother.

we know the story all too well.
we know the love of a child and mother.

blood has proven wider than oceans.
skin has proven only so deep.
ignorance once fueled a fire
self-awareness and understanding has laid to sleep.

i will return
to where i’ve never been.
again. and my friend,
i will see you there.

together, we will walk the shape that has brought us so far.
we will make the shape that has brought us home.
ware and strong characters of modern society.