Jan/Feb 2008 Poetry

Two Poems

by Arlene Ang

Photo by Steve Wing


Does it climb more than it lets on, or dream
in Giacometti figures? I'm clutching it
instead of a lover, and realize I'm in a position
to fall. The sun stirs it's coffee in my eyes.
I'm being drunk again. In crime scenes,
you can see that the chalk around the body
curves where the neck has twisted itself.
There's a reason for this fear of heights.
Like a salesman, his face tipped towards
the polyester where my legs converge. It's too late
now to want to change. How worn out, slept in
I must look from afar. The leaves won't come
clean. I used to have names for them
and the crackle in my ear. How does one hold
a dead bird clogging up the gutter?


Afternoon Stroll

The street is familiar:
almond trees, a stone sculpture
on the lawn, the grass
overwhelmed by forget-me-not.

Birds in the sky appear
like V-cut antennae. A car honks.
Leather shoes on gravel: someone
comes through the front door. Slam.

In my left pocket, a crumpled
receipt for twelve eggs—purple ink
lost in the washer. Wind like the cold
towel I applied on her forehead.

The sun is strangely out.
It's one of those days that make me
wish I have a hat: everyone
will be wondering where I've gone.

Funeral is at five. Years before
she said I shouldn't attend, urged me
to wear red. Her topaz breastpin
on my dress lends a warm twinkle.


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