Back to Issue Twenty-Nine.

Hard to Say


[Can’t you] Listen: I am asking for a grammar
that allows me                        to use a cleaver large enough
to admire my face in [my pores,        what a splendid home
for ants], allows me to slice open each verb
like a baby coconut, juice succulenting        down my spindle
arms. [Won’t you] Give                       me: my mother
in past participle, lacquered peacock eyeshadow, shoulder
pad suited, married                   to the tallest stranger [my father,
always him/forgetting him]. With each love fevered failured, I
hurl myself towards her                       in full dress adjective: gorgeous,
glittery, greater than tests run by muck ruled                       men. [You/similarly]
Refuse: to sit in                       the hard to say, squirm off
in prepositional putty. [Please] Look: it’s hard to remember what verbs
led us irregular       here: done, sung, written, put down, go, going,
gone. Complicated                       ever, clanging sternum plates, the breaking
after. [Now/no] Tell me: what grammar cut up, cooed, will make
this organ move?

Jane Wong‘s poems can be found in places such as Best American Poetry 2015, American Poetry Review, Poetry, AGNI, Third Coast, New England Review, and others. A Kundiman fellow and Fulbright Scholar, she is the author of Overpour from Action Books, and How to Not Be Afraid of Everything, which is forthcoming from Alice James Books.


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