Back to Issue Thirty

Apocalypse Now


After Kathryn Hargett

somewhere,  father pulls nine-millimeter shells
out of his gook mouth, coated in gunk placenta.
midsummer  and the bayou pulls its damp over
the   city,  clamps   its   teeth   over   a   row   of
zipperheads. a  helicopter  palms  venom into a
forest  and  I  do not  call  this violence—only a
necessity, a caution. somewhere a man asks if I
spit. I answer: no, but I can choke.


wildflowers alone

        on a road. my wife told me not

                                                to pick them


From 1910 to 1940, Angel Island, located near Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay, served as an
immigration station and a de facto detention center for over 175,000 Chinese immigrants. For hours
or months, Chinese detainees were interrogated and left in prison-like conditions.


father’s   death   is   silent   and  unending.  he
becomes and unbecomes—ragdoll unraveling
into yarn.


on a lonely rock, i am the bird

        that holds the most

                grudge. my revenge:


Interviews determined if early immigrants could remain in the United States. They consisted of
highly specific questions designed to elicit incorrect answers: “What is the floor of your old house
made of? How many entrances did it have? Which direction did the front entrance face?” Or, “What
were the names of the roads and bridges you passed on the way to a neighboring village?”


train platform, dusk. a man tells me that I will
love him long time. my country dips its barrel
into father’s throat, forces him to swallow.


        filling the sea with pebbles

                                                one by one


In 1970, after the station had been closed for thirty years, an island ranger uncovered sets of poems
on the walls of the barracks, written in the traditional Tang style. The poems had been coated over
with multiple layers of plaster.


in a dream my roommate is interviewing me
except the camera is    a glass box:      dance dance
into my mouth when I open it             no language
comes out        only guttural    only a face unseen
an animal


Eileen Huang is a sophomore at Yale University. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, NowThis, Teen Vogue, The Kenyon Review, and the Poetry Society of the UK.

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