about the author

Susan Nguyen hails from Virginia but currently lives in the desert where she is at work on her MFA in poetry at Arizona State University. Her work has previously appeared in [PANK] and diode, and she recently received a Global Teaching Fellowship from the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

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Of Complex Design 

Susan Nguyen

At first, I didn’t believe her
even though Susie’s left eye
was often slow. It glazed over

when our teacher, Mrs. Nagy,
addressed the green blackboard
with her pointer stick
tipped with a cracked red apple,

or when someone read their mother’s
handwritten note scrawled
on a paper lunch bag.

I was 10 when Susie
finally told me her left eye
was made of glass.

She took it out each night,
wiped it clean,
floated it in a glass of water.

She showed me once
how it spun like a speckled marble,
green and then blue—
a miniature globe

she jolted from its axis.
Each morning she held the world,
half hidden, in her fingertips.

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