Poem of the day: courtesy Poem.com


Jane Wong

Above: my neighbor’s feet,                         fussing from room to room,
velvet hooves                     tendering my head. Was the fruitcake

curdling? Would the mail make it there on time? (it must
make it there on time)? Below:               I try to light

the stove. Little clicks of the tongue, heat and water,                   my altar.
Underground: my grandfather breathes through a silk jacket,

a dandelion mane resting between                         his lips. Here: every living
thing is an altar. Sweet worms kiss           his knuckles to sleep,

loose doorknobs I open:             story after story. My family:
a spiral staircase, a fish spine                   picked clean, the snail’s

miasmic song. 1982: sun gasping through splintering snow,
a lemon slice folded                   in my mother’s cup, a generous

bulb, a lighthouse across oceans she can not see. 1985: we slept in
a split-level attic,                            squirrels running across

the beams. 1964: my grandfather offers my mother one egg.
Her brother looks on, fists full of ash. 1967: to make

the body dance with sticks and stones to break                 alone. Within:
prison, rose finch feathers float through bars, what he can not

talk about. My grandfather sings to me in a ladybug-speckled coffin,
the color of good teeth.               Above: my grandmother keeps

heaps upon heaps of oil containers, poured                     and repurposed
in hunched Fanta plastic. This living can be so quiet sometimes,

you can hear the lights                 humming. Moss slinks into my walls
and is painted over, white              to mint. I touch

the wall, these porous lives, this dense    understory. Today: I cut
a telescope                in two to see everything inside, out:
new.

from the book HOW TO NOT BE AFRAID OF EVERYTHING / Alice James Books
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Cover image if Tishani Doshi's book, A God at the Door
“Pliny Don’t Preach

“Tishani Doshi’s stunning new poetry collection, A God at the Door, performs the difficult task of locating the body within the broader politics of state power and gender….Over and over, the poems pose the question: How does one return to the body when trapped in the systemic violence of structures designed to make you forget who you are?”

via THE HINDU

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