Two Poems by Dan Lau

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 MagazineDenver QuarterlyPrairie Schooner, Glass: A Journal of PoetryPleiades, 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.