Confession Bless me father for I have skinned the cat. It was alive and now it has been reborn anew in the kingdom of dirt. Like a white lamb, it’s stilled and pupaic as they feed on his body his congealed blood. Oh father, you should see his transformation his perpetual giving. The world has changed into winged life. The trees, now shine verdant as if it received a fresh coat of paint and has set to dry in the open air. The ones below spin in their sated ecstasy as they grey and acknowledge the thin skin dries to a dazzling carapace like hundreds of bright slick black eyes rolling in the dark. Father, the beetles are real and they know such things as mercy.
When galactic verve enters me, I can fold myself neatly into the chair at my bedside. It scrubs the bits that require pipe cleaners, Draino, thick-bottomed plungers. I see these dying stars inside me where the red turns black. The light fades and the tiny sparkles parade over the discus courts in my stomach’s veranda. Nothing can part the spill of all the moonshine welling over. How interesting to know about the limitless meanderings of the inside. The myriad courtyards of dunnock song. This forever night so brilliant and concealed.
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.
Guest Editor Hyejung Kook’s poems have appeared in POETRY Magazine, Denver Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Pleiades, and elsewhere. Other works include an essay in Critical Flame and a chamber opera libretto. Born in Seoul, Korea, she now lives in Kansas with her husband and their two children. Learn more at her website.