Robin Rosen Chang

Guernica Mother

Head thrown back, a collapsed marionette.
Mouth, gaping, empty but
for teeth & a spike of tongue
thrust out, coaxing the scream
stuck in her throat like a bone.

We stare at her eyes, orbs
turned upward at the sky,
follow her black flag of hair
hanging down toward her huge fingers &

the dead child, slung
over her arm—its head, dangling.



The Fig Leaf

Only two of them there
and a menagerie:
spider monkeys leaping
between trees, lions sleeping,
peacocks flaunting gaudy feathers
with eyes, the snake
who’d seen it all, now preoccupied
with the disappearance of its feet.
Why would Adam and Eve
bother fashioning leaves
when plump purple orbs
hung beneath begging to be eaten?
Adam’s mouth, moist with hunger—
he took the first bite, chewed slowly
in the beginning, marveled
how pink and lush its flesh,
and reveled in its texture,
more complex than the apple’s.
He devoured handfuls
as Eve pondered why
knowledge made them hide
what gave them pleasure.



Robin Rosen Chang’s full-length debut poetry collection, The Curator's Notes, will be published by Terrapin Books in 2021. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Journal, Cream City Review, and The Cortland Review, among others. She was the recipient of the Oregon Poetry Association's Fall 2018 Poet's Choice Award and an honorable mention for Spoon River Poetry Review's 2019 Editor's Prize. She has an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.