Chen-ou Liu, CA


the stucco house
behind rusty wrought iron—
winter rain
drizzles on a faded sign
Don't move, improve



by the rosebush
a girl found with dried blood
on her legs. . .
those words buried deep
in the shadows of our minds



such a buzz
at the poetry reading...
I come back
to my attic room
knee-walking drunk



the train whistle
echoing in the distance
the Stars and Stripes
flapping in the wind…
the lost look in her eyes



hanging from the roof
the moonlight...
that summer in her eyes



a Buddha
stands outside a shelter
for the homeless
in his hands
snowflakes and one coin



at the dragon tattoo
in her cleavage...I brave
the cold on New Year's morning



my love tanka
is already one-week old
70 drafts
in the making...
the wind moans in the night



Father, I've sinned:
she barged into my heart
without notice
declaring the supremacy
that only Mother should have



the priest repeats
Marriage is a sacred vow
once again
I look at his wife
then turn to her godson









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