Previous: Andrew Gregory reads "Look Out, Natural Disasters Are Everywhere!”
Next: Gary Dop reads "II. Pothead Pete’s English Presentation"



View count:5,771
Last sync:2020-10-10 20:45
K-Ming Chang reads her poem "Symmetry".


Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more:

11 issues of Poetry, subscribe today for $20:

Follow us elsewhere for the full Ours Poetica experience:

#poetry #ourspoetica
My name is K-Ming Chang.  I'm reading "Symmetry" which is from my chapbook.  I chose to read this poem because I wanted to write a love poem which is challenging and new for me and a poem where trauma was in the foreground of the poem.  


How our bodies domesticate
                   disaster: by swallowing

another country's rains.  By reining
                   my jaw to the sea. my bones

lurched into boats.  My breasts bitten
                  into apples.  My mother says

women who sleep with women 
                   are redundant: the body symmetrical

to its crime.  Between your knees
                     I mistake need for belief

in a father figure: once we renamed
                    our fathers by burning them

out of our bodies, smoking the sky
                   into meat.  I have my father's name: 

(?~0:54), meaning archer.
                    I consider coming clean

through you like an arrow.  I consider 
                  the way we shape in bed, like the sea

has revised its shoreline & we
                   the country it moves to meet.  Every language

has different words for the same
                   want.  I name you the body

of water my thirst is native to.  
                    When I kiss you, I remember

every silence begins inside 
                     a mouth.  Everything edible begins

as a bird.  At night, birds peck
                      peepholes into the dark

the way I have always
                     watched women: in the distance

between a girl & herself 
                    is an entire body

bulls-eyed, arrowed
                    holy.  A girl castling

her voice into a throat
                  of stone.  I kiss you & forget

to turn on the dark.  I taste
                  salt afterward, trace

where light through a window
                     veins your body, its wanting

to reroute your blood
                     someplace safe.