TWO POEMS by Jane Wong

/ / Issue 5, Poetry


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




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