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October 14, 2020 Poetry


Stephanie Chang

Haunt photo

after K Ming Chang


Late June, during the spider lily harvest,

            Meng Po sutures shut my skin

as soup marbles under. A broth that weathers

            me a body for the breaking.

By now, my reflection has migrated anywhere

            but home. Glory, glory to our ghosts

hums Meng Po, feeds me bird seeds while

            I stare at the red river, make out

the last traceable lilt of light. Where a face

            should stare back. Heartbroken.

I have broken the same body so many

            lives over, touched myself a legacy

of scar tissue & lightning. Even now

            I sand my eyes with rainwater

& let the scales fall, the glow of the bridge

            lassoing me forward.

Hyacinth, like a buildable blush

            makes a vase of my throat.

I reach into my voice, its bouquet

            miscarrying again & again, roots

blood-starved for something

            that will mean I can love

what I will become without ever knowing

            what. I have the Cantonese for flower

but not arrangement—though that

            can be arranged in the next life,

says Meng Po, my heart already

            breaking in its new body.


image: Joshua J. Cotten