“On the Way to the Temple of Ten Thousand Skulls” by Lily Hoang

Image by Caleb Caldwell / @calebacaldwell

While we are still in Vietnam, my aunt leans over and explains: Take notice of our oxen. They are strong and well fed. And then we cross the border into Cambodia and my aunt explains: Now look at the Cambodian oxen. They are malnourished and poor. That’s how we were before and now we are rich. She lifts her hands in thanks towards the cloudless Cambodian sky.



Lily Hoang is the author of four books, including Changing, recipient of a PEN Open Books Award. She has two novels forthcoming: Old Cat Lady (1913 Books, 2016) and The Book of Martha (Insert Blanc Press, 2017). Her collection of essays A Bestiary won the inaugural Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Nonfiction Contest and is forthcoming in 2016. With Joshua Marie Wilkinson, she edited the anthology The Force of What’s Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde. She teaches in the MFA program at New Mexico State University, where she is Associate Department Head. She serves as Prose Editor at Puerto del Sol and Non-Fiction Editor at Drunken Boat.