In Da Lat
there is a plant
that only blooms
at midnight.

There are velvet coats for grandmothers,
scarlet banners dripping golden luck charms,
parties to consume a year's savings,
and once,

surrounded by ten thousand ecstatic Communists
celebrating the birth of Jesus,
I almost defected
from shopping

to the fairy lights -

a temporary confusion
due to indoctrination

by midnight