by Cathy Park Hong
My Aleph, My Grand Dame, My Turks
frozen in time! Haroon, Kadoori, Sassoon
with your bolts of canary silk sheared
and sold down to Shangdu river alongside
a wedding of gamblers betting in a vintage sampan.
Barges of creaky banquet halls,
spit out your prawn tail in this ramekin! Shots
of Crown Royal for all! Dear natty vessel
of chemical dye, dear floating factory
of cleaning supplies, let me buy
you out, my wire hanger is mannered
like the virgin neck of a Parmigianino nude,
my lint roller can defur a Pomeranian dog.
Shangdu, my artful boomtown,
I will smudge out your horizon line with my
thumb, I will stuff you cheek to jowl
and pipette you with petrol,
chasing out urchins nibbling on beetle kebabs!
Foreigners, do nip from that Blue Label
in our train which is faster than the Shinkansen,
powered by our merry laughs:
Ho Ho Ho! Ha Ha Ha! Ho Ho Ho!
Xiao, bring me my napkin,
my thumb is smudged with the horizon.
Last updated December 26, 2022