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TWO POEMS by Jane Wong

BREAKER-OF-TREES
My mother cuts the legs off a moving crab.
The legs curl in a bucket washed to garbage to sea. When I come home, I tread water on the carpet

DIVING

To become a world      carry your wounds with you:
bright plums split on a dish                

a scattered alchemy in the limbs           metal upon heart upon glint
could you ever               leave?  Steal this

in passing, in looking sideways:             an owl, a doorway
ever-crooked      I have no use for perfect vision

walking downhill always means                                     hold on
to me like a rush of insects ringing                    heavy in the bells

in a key of light                         dive bombing outside my window, alight
my advocate of world-making              I assume that you can hear me           

tapping along the wall testing                               poetry or
the solidity of my name                         language has nothing to do with what I want

these heaps of words, stone upon stone                           cairn to mark the way above a tree
line, pointing                              think of the wound instead – 

the units of the wound, these lake-worthy moments 
the boarded –               up houses we sleep in

 

 

BREAKER-OF-TREES

My mother cuts the legs
off a moving crab. 

The legs curl in a bucket
washed to garbage

to sea. When I come home,
I tread water on the carpet

and hang my head low.
Guillotine of the heart,

the wind causes trouble
between two trees.

The trouble causes splinters
enough to build a forest

in just one hand.
What can we learn

from disaster if not
the familiar angles of a face?

How I can touch yours and say Paul.
I crack open a geode

as a reminder of grace.
From the crystal center,

yolk splinters, pours.

 

 

Issue 5 Contents                                       NEXT: Two Poems by Gregory Pardlo

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About Jane Wong

Jane Wong
Jane Wong is the recipient of fellowships and scholarships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center. Her poems can be found in journals and anthologies such as CutBank, Eleven Eleven, Mid-American Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Salt Hill, The Volta, Best New Poets 2012, and The Arcadia Project. Her most recent chapbook is Kudzu Does Not Stop. She holds a MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and lives in Seattle.