& O, bright star of disaster, I have been lit.
after Lo Kwa Mei-En
i have come & come here a thousand times,
gone by many names. trust: i am no god,
only woodworm, only termite burrowing
like a light in the flesh. i am no insect,
only an ache on loop in the window.
be honest. the wounds have been bearable
thus far. & who isn't bruised around the edges,
peaches poured into the truckbed, receipts
faded to white? i have only ever wanted to bite
down hard on whatever was offered to my hot,
grasping mouth. & here i am, licking corners
like a nervous cat, squirming in the hallway
outside the bathroom. i pick up the accent
of whoever i'm speaking to. nobody wants
to fuck a sponge. nobody wants to crush
on a ghost. o sure, we all do it anyway:
flickering screen; falsies batting; a story
of a story of a girl, or country, or a clean house
where everyone knows her place. my face
is a game of telephone gone sour, or south.
fleshy marionette in the window, dancing
her awful, crooked dance. & isn't that
what you paid for? isn't that what you came
to see? a god, on loop, failing?
204 The Paris-American
Franny Choi is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014). She has received awards and fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, Kundiman, and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Her work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, the Poetry Review, Indiana Review, and others. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan, a Project VOICE teaching artist, and a member of the Dark Noise Collective.
Next week's poet: