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The Flower Peddler

 

He stopped to light fire to
a paper television and a car.

Sent to another heaven
she receives the chrysanthemum

and jasmine tendered
by his hands. They breathe

the air her box
contains. We cultivate

the truest blue the sky
shows in winter. But he

does not open his coat
when the sun comes. I flew

into a bed of stargazer lilies, he says,
I believed she had returned home.

 

 

 

 

Her Shoulder is a Shelter

 

Until now we had been looking at pictures
of tree-lined streets and sun

shimmering between leaves.
She paints sight as moving color

to break open the world.
Over downy cloud

clusters I see her blue
lit corridors

press into other rooms.
I am looking at pictures on a very large

chair in a room with white
walls my mother wipes daily.

Her shoulder is a shelter on which I arrange
rock formations to resemble skin burdens.

One of three who is one of none
who are the thin newspaper cuts

she collages Sunday coupons and pens
women, hand in hand?

She marks
who is who.

I dream I am a bird
but here I am a rabbit

or a bear, drawn
with heart-shaped

noses and anchor mouths. These
torn papers are stacked in a box.

They are envelopes
and birthday notes.

Hello,
I write to her over the Internet.

It is nice to write
you in a cached textbox.

 

 

 

 

Trade Winds

 

What to do with this capacious heart
a mouse propositions his room it
beats and echoes and shakes I
shall make it my hot air balloon
he says to himself quickly pinning
twine to the pulmonary valve and with
an alpine butterfly in a wicker laundry
basket off he goes the heart bellows
the ventricles embrace its pushing
through the window now the mouse
watches the exterior of his room
recede and all the while he feels
impossibly larger in this ascension
he’s learned he smarts what
awaits his wonders in the air
he hovers there is a cloud there
are five and less the turf directly
below we see the beginnings
of a truth in the clawed feet
of the little thing we watch

 

 

 

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Jen Hyde is a 2016 Margins Fellow and the author of Hua Shi Hua (华画诗) Drawings and Poems from China, forthcoming from Ahsahta Press in January 2017. Her poems have appeared in Drunken Boat, The Volta, and The Sink Review. A Heart Valve Ambassador for the American Heart Association, she is currently writing about her congenital heart defect, for which new research and technology are approximately as old as she is.

Hy Khong is an artist, photographer and writer from Seattle, Washington. You can find his work at hynkhong.com.

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