Clumsy Though I Am

after Đặng Việt Nga’s ‘Crazy House’

We walk inside the trunk of this tree.
I steady myself on fossils,
Your bottom lip, my handrest as I precariously handle the stairs.
Clumsy though I am
This place, I venture.

You decorated this room with sculptures,
Sea creatures
Eyes wide and staring at me
while I climb a ladder clumsily.
I never learned to swim
But these waters, I venture.

The kitchen tiles,
Patterned like rings
You paved many years ago
Tiles patterned like years sink into them.
Precious as eggshells and
Clumsy though I am,
Your kitchen, I shall venture.

I rest my palm on your forehead,
Turning corners to face creatures
And scouring the make believe faces
In our tree-trunk mystery home.
Messy though I must be and
Clumsy though I am,
This place, I venture.