You are in the diode archives v6n1




The day knocked out my teeth.
The day told me there is no such thing as a lake.

Yesterday I lost my reserve
and ants took to the hill with determination.

The bodies of the colony poured over the road.
I held my hands up, out.

I looked through a faulty kaleidoscope.
Everything appeared

as it was. The sun cut triangles across my face,
a range of mountains, extending.

Is there a way to sound less disappointed?
Staring at the wall created a conversation I liked.

As if there was wind, or trees, or wind
in the trees.


What is wilderness doing in this scene?
How much forgiveness is left

if we argue in a forest?
If we fight in a station wagon

and fall asleep
in a station wagon?

Like ferns beside the road our shadows
have no choice

but to overlap.


Untethered, I waved like a tree across an avalanche.
My leg, this slab of ice, whistling.

Hello, from this shore to that.


The activity of the season tired me.
These nervous motors of snow, running.

In town, cowboys coughed into their handkerchiefs and
twirled me across the floor.

In another town, my mother drew swans in a factory so that
the factory filled with swans.

Distance is measured in such false beauty,
I said, staring at the mirror of my face.


The monarchs lodged in the exhaust pipe are lodged in my ribs, held to the road.
I drove by the same crow. He recognized my face, loved my dimple.

I am afraid he will watch me undress
or I will let him.


On the road, the station wagon slumps lower,
drags its exhaust pipe

around like a slug.
I pull over

and drink from the roadside ditch.
My palms full of melting slush

from water and what colors
the water.


from Kings

I slept through the wind
I didn’t dream

a tree fell
from the roof everything

started falling it was
necessary all

this clanging
hundreds of monarchs

thumping against the windshield
it can not be stopped

I kept driving I kept
whittling wings


The wind kept
a sheet of white

paper over my face
you said I looked like a ghost

but it was only a sheet
of paper through which

nothing could be


Heard out of ear-shot
I thought I was here-shut

I grabbed my chest door
my brother stormed

the room shaking
me from the arms,

legs, head
what are you driving at

he yelled where is
your signal tree where is

your empathy clasp
mistakes I told him

are nothing
to be afraid


I saw the earth split
like an onion it came
undone in layers
I rubbed my eyes clean

disbelief is not a crime
I wore the death

mask proudly
a cluster of ants carried me out

there was no ceremony
nor witness nor wind


I wove a cluster
of succulents into a crown

the desert moved toward
me, completely magnetic

the sun was jealous
half of nothing is

nothing the sun shouted
and you are half of!


Had I sent the sun straight
out of me?

I have no use for kindness
only grave, grave


see the whelping of my lion
see the heaped waves of

the Atlantic color-


The TV in the kitchen
is on fire again

all the wiring is wrong
I turned on

the light and fell
down the stairs

I have never broken anything
except your face

nightly I feed appliances
to the fire

oh I do not know what
will become of me  


Jane Wong’s poems have appeared in journals such as CutBank, Mid-American Review, Spinning Jenny, Octopus, and the anthologies Best New Poets 2012 and The Arcadia Project. The recipient of fellowships and scholarships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center, she has three chapbooks: Dendrochronology, Impossible Map, and Kudzu Does Not Stop. She currently lives in Seattle, where she teaches at the University of Washington.