Bunkong Tuon: What Is Not Fluid

My Daughter’s Toy Puppy


Sometimes I call Rosie a “he.”

Other times Rosie is a “she.”

There’s no rhyme or reason

to its gender designation.


All is arbitrary,
dictated by exhaustion.


But what is not fluid
is the proximity of Rosie

to our daughter.


No matter how far away,
we must drive back home


to retrieve the stuffed puppy
I buried under a milk-stained blanket.

Bunkong Tuon is the author of Gruel (2015) and And So I Was Blessed (2017), both poetry collections published by NYQ Books, and a regular contributor to Cultural Weekly. He is also an associate professor of English and Asian Studies at Union College, in Schenectady, NY.