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June 6, 2018 Poetry

Four Poems

Su Cho

Four Poems photo

Field Notes in Haiku

I hear a giant
lives in a stardew valley
I follow the signs:

a knot of sparrows
outlines the shape of a nose—
cold autumn rainfall

the field of yarrow
turned crimson, then browned, some white
spotting forms a trail

A hot breeze scatters
katydids, squirrels, two praying
mantis clutching me

an hour of mountains
midnight wrestles my shadow
but it grows and grows—


The Symmetry of Fish

The head of the fish thuds
into the kitchen sink

with a splash of lettuced water
and she says not this. Don’t

marry the head or anyone
too cunning. She saws the knife

through the tail, the muscle
springs and says not a man

who doesn’t have a brain. There’s
no meat here. As I walk through

fish markets next to the goats
skinned with their heads on a table,

the finned belly glistens
with the dusty sun, jutting

proudly blue and silver.
I reach out to prod the slick

elastic skin, pierce him with two
fingers, and eat around the bones.


this collection of Forever American flag stamps

inside a blue plastic book with crinkled vellum

this mini Thanksgiving float for the Cumberland

Elementary School parade made of unbaked

polymer clay thudding apart with the first tug

this birthday party at Great Skates

the center rink when the DJ says chow

instead of Cho and this sticky rice paste

instead of Elmer’s Glue to fasten paper chains

of once-a-year metallic origami

to celebrate the New Millennium with

this Honorable Mention for Indiana’s

2nd grade poetry contest about a girl

who will invent a waterless shower

and a blue plastic pill that can cure anything

Tonight I Discover Archipelagos

in the dip between my hip & pelvis
a patch of skin void of my rosy beige.
I press a finger hard against the supple

surface—the way my mother pressed
kisses on the black dot on the heel

of my left foot, assuring me that this
is how she would find me—lifting
the foot of every child she sees

pretending to have never seen my face.
Against my finger, I hear a metronome

pulse I still can’t keep in time with. Some nights
I want a hand on my left breast, thrumming
a beat to keep me warm. I turn to examine

the mirror for more pockets of discovery
only to find more colorless islands
wrecked along my lower back to my shoulders as if

I tried to erase my black dot & forgot where it was.