For Love of Another
Trinh T. Minh-Ha
J. Vincent Hansen
Vietnam was when
darkness covered the earth
and the oft-sighted light
at the end of the tunnel
was nothing more
than a blazing Buddhist monk
crossed feet joined hands
a man without words without cries
   confesses his flame on the screen
behind the fire the witnesses watch
the flickering in a last tongue of flame
for a while it burns
the living torch of an entire people
of an entire people reduced to silence
today a man burns
in a dark fire on a scarlet sky
little by little he is consumed
illuminating mute
the crowd riveted to his side
falls prostrate as the last view
is extinguished
the faithful turn over the ashes
collecting one by one the carbonized remains
out of strong desire to preserve
replace in the fire
his heart remained intact
his heart remained intact