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11 December 2007 


The day my father died, I began to love

many men and I knew there would be no end.

Allow me room to breathe, my father asked

wishing that I let go of his wrists.

The man, now, in my bed rolls over and begins

to snore. The white of the walls are more white

than when I painted them. In my room I write

to believe you are living.

It’s 4:00 a.m. and no one’s awake.

I go to sleep and in a dream,

I am someone saying, Do you know

the smallest, most lovely canary can sing

the most deadly songs at night?

I can hear it loudly, tapping

outside my locked window.

Someone has hung up a painting.

Someone has provided a palette

that is come-hither blue, sunflower yellow,

warm-your-belly green peas.

A bell rings through the rain.

I wish to tell the world I’m sick to death of it.

The heart that does not wish anymore,

does not want. But it is the perception of you

that makes me mismatch my words.

Waiting for you: nests fitted into wooden trees,

my hair thrashes past me.

Spilling awake, the sound

of rain on the large sea expands.

I’m afraid one of these days,

I’ll say everything I ever wanted to say.

In my favorite corner of the world you are there, you believe me.

Love pauses by the door with a set of keys jingling.

Tina Chang