Michelle Jia

He Dreams Before The Wedding

Or was I the wrangled crag,
obsidi-flecked in my own volcano choke
as the hot pink thread whispered round my jags
and a young smudge yanked—
Or was I that black
as I tupped her, slate relief
on her chalky luminescence,
all wolf for her skin
and a ring for my own
in the parkinglot’s blue skillet:
I watched her nape

in the corridor crush—
(So a diamond fleck in the lava)
(So the throat-pipe grips on fighting coals)
I could have been the whip

that weaved through her magma: a cackle,
but not a stitch. Or was it this: I was pleading,
spot in a warehouse—
light slapped silly-—
into her altitudinous ear,
I changed my mind
about everything, and didn’t
want the catlick flame
or its reductio to dress me
in something lighter than flesh—



Dawn piles into my shoe,
a migraine of coloured sand.
The desert wears me too,

never once asking
if the seams will hold.
Father writes: be still.

I am;
I am moved through;
I am lived another;

here, and there the same.
I rotate like an ache,
a weight in place till dawn.



Who were you that I laid with,
abstract-eyed in the fresh
and whitened beam?
Your maestro wrists
against the wind-press
float and slice among
the curtains.

Early morning, this—
imagined Brooklyn,
closed to the poised
our single tent window
awash with meadow sprites,
our nude and limb confusion.

Lift now
from the hand-cupped spring
your dear mouthful of song.
What a heckle of years—

and the strokes in between
to survive, to come closer
to this.


Noah Falls in Love With A Wood Nymph

Darling, it is a green train running
to the end of the forest: invisible,
popping pomegranates with its wheels.
It is a clicked ruckus. Some men
are singing at the top of their lungs,
their voices deep and boaty. Some
men are asleep. Careful not to slip
on the champagne slick, let the bootie
drill trip you up the stairs. Careful
not to let the dripping scare you;
the faucet is rusty, the conductor
sucked it silly. Chupacabra under
the cargo. Lizard on the block.
This is flood anticipation. Rest your
hand on the pale blue leather,
steady your engine body. Keep me
company while the rails blend all I know
into motion. Keep me running low.
Not all stops are oceans; not all
worlds begin with an island and a boat.
You and I are the only disaster I know
and there is only one place to go.


Michelle JiaMichelle Jia is a poet, jazz vocalist and polymedia performer hailing from a suburb of Toronto, Canada. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in EOAGH, A Literation, and Room. She is currently studying Comparative Literature at Stanford University.




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