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Molt

The AUX cord lays its neck on the table.

The nylon gym bag does its last shift on the chair.

This is the sound of everything

softening into the night.

One dry purple bloom decides to relinquish its tie

to the orchid’s stem. The latest piece

of meat turns in the belly

and whimpers its last high whimper

until it’s transformed into something

different come morning. Another swig

of Kombucha and it’ll sound even less.

Everyday another dull sound, echoes

from an empty corner of the flat, another piece

of material refuses to sustain its own weight.

The French pin in the kitchen finds a new position

by the potatoes. The body notices these simple transitions

and grows jealous of the ease of transformation.

The body, the only thing in constant motion, yet still

the most constant. It sees the deer, the hawk,

the fish on the television all change and be changed

one from the other, one to the other. It watches the phantom breath

of a fish anew in the bear. The rabbit’s shiver in the clutches

of the hawk. And the deer, belly full of battered greens

and neck stretched smooth like poplar trunks

and the body, the body sallow-weighted and in repose

responds to the dark of transition within the neat,

comely room and calls to the blinking television

with wide eyes please, God, gut me and make me new.


Dan Lau is a Chinese American poet from Queens, New York. A Kundiman fellow, he is the recipient of scholarships and grants from The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Queer Cultural Center, and San Francisco Arts Commission. His poems have been published in Cape Cod Review, Gesture, RHINO, CRATE, Colorado Review, Bellingham Review, and others. He resides in the San Francisco Bay area as Development Director at Kundiman, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature, and the Managing Poetry Editor of Foglifter, a queer journal and press.