Chalk Drawing

I want to cloud a cloud            to water water

to make something that already is        something more


I mean             most days I feel like

a chalk drawing            of the sun       

like a small attempt      at an improbable thing


Don’t worry

This poem is not          an act of war

although I must confess           to get here

I had to walk through              a cloud             and dissolve




The things I want to run from

keep coming back to me         


All the while the things I want to run to

keep lengthening          like the shadows                       of grief


I want to believe in a religion               of arms                       

holding me       through my unscrambling




The trees are shedding now


It makes me think        of what you’re supposed to do

when your ship is sinking         and you have a suitcase full

of silver           on board


If you zoom out far enough

I could be        a small cloud                of dust            

a loose leaf       flung from        a breathless tree


I want              the touchstone

of being loved                          always




I am thinking

of losing my limbs                   for the winter


All the while                you are a slick shape

paddling           softly               to shore


Where are you                          going?             

What is the meaning                            of war?


Who are we                 one river away from


Shuang Ang was born and raised in Singapore. Her work has been published by the Asian-American Writers’ Workshop, the Rumpus, and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. She was a Breakout 8 Writers Prize Winner, and a runner-up in the Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. Shuang is currently an MFA student at Sarah Lawrence College, where she is working on her debut collection.