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Tending the Speculative: Poems from the Asian American Adoptee Diaspora

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, inquiring into a poetics emerging from the adopted diasporic condition, guest-curates a portfolio of poems for The Line Break.

By The Line Break



When Home Is Not Enough

Shrouded in rumor, your secrets were unraveling,
and the swelling underneath your blouse 
was no longer a question of if but when. 
Away you were sent to lie in a bed of lice and dried shrimp 
in a village hostile to yet another bastard 
who will end up begging for forgiveness.

But, here I am, back from the deep well they tried to drown me in.

To disarm the landmines buried in your field of vision.
To shield you from the bullets still hanging in the sky.
I’ve mastered the silence of your existence,
but now I shout your name in this dark cave.

And, if you never answer me?
Have you moved onto another village, another family?
What if it’s true when they say
that mosquitoes only return to the swarm 
in the form of a warm memory,
however indecipherable?


Anh Dao Kolbe, “Viettal TV Show”
Viettal TV Show, Anh Ðào Kolbe

Kevin Minh Allen Kevin Minh Allen was born Nguy?n ??c Minh on December 5, 1973 near Sài Gòn, Vietnam to a Vietnamese mother and American father who remain unknown to him. He was adopted by a couple from Rochester, NY and grew up in Webster, NY with his two younger sisters. In 2000, he moved to Seattle, WA to pursue a life less ordinary. Kevin is a freelance writer who has had his poetry published in numerous print and online publications such as Eye To The Telescope, Meniscus Magazine,, and Chrysanthemum. He finished his first poetry chapbook manuscript tentatively titled The Wind Above The Coast.