I grew up as an agnostic
with atheist parents
who burnt incense when my poodle died.
He is a cherub guarding the celestial carousal,
feasting upon the crooked phantoms.
They canoodled me.
On the third day, his corpse would decay
into loam quilting bamboo shoots.
I denied it, tears rolling down on my crinkling cheek.
On my first date, my girlfriend covered her mouth with a doily
and coughed with elegance.
She suffocated on cologne slipping out of my cuffs.
I thought: Is her love
the divine scent of my cologne or carnal arrows of Cupid?
In the zoo, I watched monkeys
meditating on prayers
trapped in the mouth of
beggars hymning the rhythm of
coins striking against the asphalt.
I espied the moon through the telescope––
there its goddess nurtured a sapling like a sperm,
which could not outgrow her desire beyond the Milky Way.
She smuggled a boy––a lost soul
in naked spring flowers––
& bathed in the lustre of stars.
197 The Paris-American
Lavinia Xu is a poet and undergraduate student in Ohio State University. She is a junior and is pursuing a duel degree in Logistics and English. Two of her poems, "Language of the Far End" and "A Summer Day Goes by the River," have been published in Mosaic, the art and literature magazine for undergraduate students at OSU. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.
Next week's poet:
Jeremy Allan HawkinsJJCCCACc