Media Gallery

In Media Red

I stand at the mirror,
applying Rome. Rome never

the Rome I want, Rome enough
Rome of the thing

itself, my life raised
to its exponent, reddening

in the windchill, Rome under
the pale. I want

to call Rome out, to reflect
the light at such

and such a wavelength
like Rome, want to want

the length of wanting
without losing

for Rome avant

the coming guard,
warmth leaving

under a blue light.
The page reddens me

with knowledge
but still I apply

myself thus,
making Rome again

the wound
so easily pressed.

In a Roman Story

Rhea begets Remus,
begets Romulus. Or

is it Romulus
begets Remus, begets

Rhea Silvia? Narrative never
advanced the dead

nor the good-as-dead.
No one remembers

her back on his sweatshirt,
spread on the desk

in a ritual sacrifice. That wasn’t
what she wanted: she asked

to face the wall
to more fully be

-come the gate he sought.
Oh Mars, you mistook me

for someone
I briefly was. Girl alight

with impending loss,
vessel for bearing

out an arch
-itectural illusion. A wall

isn’t truly built
to exclude, but to instate

something worth defending.
A Roman on the road

is still a Roman, a god
in a mortal bed is still

a god. A woman
in prison is the very

definition of a woman.
You may read her

as the victim
or the villain, as it suits.

You fail to consider
a cell’s advantage:

structural conditions
made visible, physical.

And then he put her
on her back, and then

he said he loved her. He passed
through; the gate shut.

Mia Kang is an Oregon-born, Texas-raised, Brooklyn-based writer, recently named a runner-up for the 2017 Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Contest. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Hermeneutic Chaos Journal, The Margins, and Black Heart Magazine, and she has received the Academy of American Poets College Prize among others. In the spring of 2017, she is a Brooklyn Poets Fellow.


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