It’s not true that sand is
is when you have enough
time, vats. The woods,
inevitably, are satire
to the counter, who is
a keeper, not a consumer.
Carving motes, you can
get faster, more or yes
invisible. Just a rumor
that anything shatters,
no, one day you round
the brown trail and, oh, a
funeral, one day you open
up a bag of chips and
inside there’s an orchid.
Living across from
a cathedral shaped
library, I worshipped
the people near and
beyond me, with
them treading all
we had to read
and, lulled, to serve
and to sever. I did not
recite and I have
not since I laid out
front of the church
of elder books, top
off under a white
sun, sleeping in silk
pants. I am not proud
of my days, or their
was not then, but of
course I was once a cross
a figure of capital.
Sheet with overall orange and green abstract pattern. Anonymous.
This is not a planetarium. Not even
a dissolution of expiration dates. My people
eat both small and large intestines, and
I respect anyone in touch with their rage.
I question a dream from the inside
(everything I do is to be remembered).
Anyway, only language can interrupt
conviction, divorce from the tide.
It’s been a long time now but it’s easy
to list the things I am not: my name,
the hair on my arm, difficult to delight.
We call autumn here very early spring.
Wishing is about release in every heat:
petal off, lantern up, lash away, salt over.
Cities keep running out of grave space,
and teachers have to guard like athletes.
And since no one is listening, I might
as well say that peeing in my sleep—
it was a way of preserving integrity. Of
knowing it is my femurs I can recognize.
Cindy Juyoung Ok has poems published in the Nation, Poetry, and Narrative and is teaching creative writing at Wellesley College this semester.