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.