Jiang Qing Poem by Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang

United States / Michigan

Jiang Qing



Now the fires are all out. My throat hoarse
and husky. Swallowing pork can blow my head

to pieces, everything too thick for my shrinking
tube, even a sigh, all my breaths are sighs now.
How I used to speak so sleekly in pavilions, even
crows and clouds came down to hear. But now

they blame me for deaths, even for the rain in Venice.
But I think it's the tops of trees that make the first
sound of rain. How I want to lie with you again,
your stubbled face on my neck. How I want to

see the darkened halls of your mind, eyes that
boiled me. How I want to cut down this paper city,
ask you to rebuild it in red, center it. I want to
smear your lips on mine, fasten your thoughts into

my head. Here is a hammer. Here are some nails.
With each new thought, your hand around my neck
still indents itself just so. I can no longer take
my own brain. Soon the wind will inhabit my shadow.

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Victoria Chang

United States / Michigan
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