by Kimiko Hahn

I thought wearing an evergreen dress
might be enough to express the longing
of the pine
though it or because it retains its scent
throughout the snowfall
and above the tree line. That’s what I thought.

I needle my students
and a few write inflamed poems
to my ideological bent and my ankle bracelet.
I lay awake in the neighbor’s light
through the curtain of flurries
we find in the real morning—
the one with real light.
And the only way to guide them
through their own compost
is to needle them harder—
to make them work not for me
but for the spruce
scraping at their windows. Still
X sends terrifying love letters
that send so much blood to the chest
the fingers are cold.

You say it’s from a crush.

You say quit using these he and hims
when the specificity of John
is more engaging.
I needle: make me feel.

Next time I make a C-note
from a poem
I will send you a red dress
I have tried on myself first.
The silk, light as the lotion
on the nape of your neck.

silk, rayon, chiffon,

You say it’s the he in heat.

I see pine and I see
what I know is feeling.
I imagine stepping barefoot
under those trees
onto a bed of their
brown needles.
So prick my skin.

Mosquito & Ant

Last updated February 01, 2023