Steven DaLuz © 2015 All Rights Reserved


                 —Awake. The slap
of wet bamboo on windowpane.

It’s that dream again where
all my teeth fall out, bones
spit into my palm like
wet crushed corn.

The machine of me
quivers. Think of Liszt

counting gondola strokes,
brooding over death, trying to
transcribe it. Maybe that’s

the best we can do—
anatomically correct,
soul-challenged. Cue

my neighbor’s chained-up dog,
men popping off fireworks.
All the registers of being

someplace at this moment
here, beneath this sky
which isn’t black exactly—

swirly-eyed as cream in coffee,
myself at twenty—

but rose, silly rose.

Two knees shining in the dark:
Still me. All accounted for,
unbelievably solid.


Algebra for an Unsolved Equation

You are the blank white room.
Dumb bird smashing its
beak against the window—no,
you’re the window, clean and vacant.
You’re the man knocking his beer glass
against the bar saying Hit me.
How you’ve hit me.
You’re that thoughtless sail boat
careening into port, scattering waves,
the pink slip telling me
it’s all over, the cardboard stacked
against the door—I really want
to hate you but I don’t.
You’re the ridge along the breastbone
of the improbable red bird, the one
that gives him flight.
You’re not his flight.
You are the deep white inconsolable.


Annie Kim
Copyright © 2015  

A graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers and recipient of a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellowship, Kim has published poems in Mudlark, Ninth Letter, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. She works as an assistant dean for public service at the University of Virginia School of Law.

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