Two Poems

By:  Amy Gong Liu



Self-Portrait as a Weaver Girl

I want to talk about
the sea, but I don’t remember
anything before the astronauts came.
Only that the boats blew in from
the Changjiang,
and I don’t remember the Changjiang,
but I do remember the bodies
always following their men
like balloons in their wake,
and thinking about how, on earth,
this is the closest they have to flight.

The worst part about
my lover was that even
he kept slaves.
He grew older every July,
unlike me, and so when
the swallows brought warmth,
he panicked and bound them to the sky.
There, they shivered from the weight
of his tread, and he ascended to me, the untied.
So I allowed it because, on earth,
this is the closest they have to a bridge.

She and I once sailed the sky,
navigating the lines
of our bodies for pleasure.
So this was celestial spit, and the
underbellies of the birds blue from below.
I want to talk about the sea,
but we don’t remember anything
before nothing, them and I,
and when I become black,
the salt of my flesh sings to the corpses:
residents, oh necessary residents,
sacrifice is the closest us
unlucky immortals have to night.



Christopher, Generationally

1. The Cove

Here she is
at last.
The boat,
the sweet
young things
who don’t
yet know the
rash of
a souljolt.

2. The Date

After the accident you
and I left with nothing.
Trap the sea with your
coat. The chimes. Do
not forget the shoes in
the back. How will we
return — matter, you —
drink what tastes of
promise. Temptress,
how am I supposed
to know how to dance?

This is the middle
of your life, and you
are dear, so very dear.
You hurt when you are
away. Of course I am fine,
but isn’t it strange how,
when I forget my first
step, the cars on the
corner pull into the tide?

3. The Anastasia

 I am the last of my name.
I am the last of my kind,
the tongue linguists. I am
the last. You damnation.
You are hurting yourself.
Nonsense does know me,
blood-kin, litany deviant.

4. The Aerial

I imagine that
your children
won’t know of
your own
I remember
how once
she looked
out into the
open without
words, as if
she were
afraid, when
it was all over,
of what would
fall out of
the sky.



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Amy Gong Liu is a Chinese-American writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has been published in Hobart, Foglifter, Cosmonauts Avenue, Nightjar Review, Empty Mirror, The Breakwater Review, and others. She thinks too much (or perhaps too little).