A city named after carnage though imaginary.
The flint and glut of your white-ringed yogurt bottles, empty hearts of glass chewed on by low-riding pedestrians.
Yes, I dreamt of you in my wooden bed, ramshackled to the grilled iron shine of the handles that box you in.
A city expelling its suitors, a city packed tightly in the suitcase.
We bring you with us – a layer of exfoliated skin – wherever we go.
Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart's Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press). Daughter of Chinese immigrants, Ching-In has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston. Her poems appear in Tea Party, Fifth Wednesday Journal, OCHO, Iron Horse Literary Review, Water~Stone Review and elsewhere. A Kundiman, Lambda and Macondo Fellow, she has been awarded residencies at Soul Mountain Retreat, Paden Institute, and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation. You can find her at http://www.chinginchen.com/.