Victoria Chang

Dear P.

There    will be    a circle    of girls there will be    

many circles of        girls    who turn into circles of    

women     there will be many parties many grills with    

corn and    meat losing its red center     there will

also be     a circle of crows who circle the     circle of

boars    who circle        the circle of grass     work

their way    into its center there will be a     circle

of gnats    who circle the dirty        boars because

there    are     awards for    grouping    easier than    

absence easier than working against     easier than

separating     water with curtains    good things are    

often in pieces are backing             away     from    

doorways are alone     the heart     is     alone in

our bodies    because         it must be     to    love



Dear P.

Let her     let them collect others     let them hurl depth

over the balcony in the    meantime    it’s not about

purpose but about the    person    buy stackables and

store     your selves in them     let    everyone in though

don’t pull the curtains closed or snap the buttons shut

the girls might try to     come in     might try to throw

you out    woe you     the boys might    lure you     out

please don’t     kowtow     to them         the wars aren’t    

real there are     three ways    to    still            everyone

with love     don’t eat the    meat of your        enemies

because it tastes just like     your tongue     don’t meet

them in the        middle just         jump in the     puddle

together     and fill in the     white    space    the wind is

fine    with being homeless but we are not     the wind



Dear P.

One night the power     in your house     will

disappear     apparitions     will appear        your

appetite will         disappear you will be left    with

only        dark and grey ghosts who        know you

more than     anyone    do not     light a candle or find

a     flashlight do not try    and     shape the pain     do

not find any lights that     cut darkness    into pieces    

let night pile up there is peace     in darkness there are

no     loud speakers in    darkness all tears are equal in

darkness underneath     the coat    of     blinding night

is truth     and the difference    between truth     and        

everything else is that     you can see     everything else    

don’t worry    everything you     reluctantly     give me

you will     eventually get back        


Victoria Chang's fourth book of poems, is Barbie Chang, from Copper Canyon Press. Her prior book, The Boss (McSweeney’s Poetry Series, 2013), won the PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Other books are Salvinia Molesta and Circle. Chang lives in Southern California and teaches at Chapman University and Orange County School of the Arts. You can find her at