One Poem by Dan Lau

Stupid Fucking Beauty

Add a few lines

against the shawl’s knitting.

Safer to attend to details.

Safer to comprehend loss.

Analyze your risks

when you open

your mouth. See

that deviled line flair

when the tongue does

what it does. Even in the night

your shadow finds the luxury

of a caesura – the weight

of attending to yet absent from

The experience. So, I kiss you

and tell you all the things that

assault me when

I want,             when

I consult possibility.

That fucking blender,

your fucking hand,

electric cars, permaculture,

each green fig

plumping on the branch

owning the potential

of sweetness,

daring the proliferation

of an idea. Fucking fruit.

Shitty little promises

concentric in their red bed.

Stupid books that tell me about

the many ways sadness

can permeate a core.

Even in the metaphor

when I imagine those

precious little radicles

struggle from casing

to root,            I hate it

because of the margins

where I see them fail.

Stupid little life.

Stupid fucking beauty.

Now, what can I imagine

for tomorrow, but you.

Dan Lau is a Chinese American poet. A Kundiman fellow, he is the recipient of scholarships and grants from The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Queer Cultural Center, and San Francisco Arts Commission. His poems have been published in Colorado Review, Bellingham Review, The Margins, Poem-a-Day, The Baffler and others. He resides on the unceded territory of the Ramaytush Ohlone, also known as San Francisco. (Photo by Bethanie Hines)

Editor-in-Chief Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso ReviewHarbor Review’s chapbook prize is named in her honor. She expects her next collection, The Book of Stolen Images (Meadowlark) to be out in a few months.


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