Jiaoyang Li reads
As a little elephant walks back to its prairie
I walk back to your eyes:
an empty room
The desk lamp is a kid who does not cry,
when he misses his moon-mother,
he turns his hat down.
Cans are uncanny doors.
After pulling up the sacred gaze of tuna
guess who returns to her cat body.
The firewood under your feet is waiting to become a wardrobe.
The square blank page in front of you is also waiting for its testimony.
But no corridor can take you back to this corridor you are standing in.
MFA cohort told me only prize-winning artists are real artists
So I collect rags, branches, and buttons
to make a medal for my window-watching doll.
Two turtledoves sit on my balcony gossiping.
See, a little brother is hanging on the balcony across the door
He, too, has cherry blossom feet.
wear the riot of frills, wear the face of friar
wear the swish from the arena, wear the twilight of cathedrals,
wear the street no one sweeps, wear fireworks, wear the war where we all died
The Empire State building is injecting red heartbeats
from its rusty needle to the tired lungs of the Empire:
The tramp who plucked the strings of the street disappeared nowhere
Seagull outside my window
Your New Jersey accent sounds a little sad
Why are you so dull, sitting in the fjord of my pupil
Drawing for me & stamping for the time?
At the end of the world, my ex added me back on Instagram,
After dropping me a message, he disappeared again
His affection is an exiled regime: a rabbit, a drop of water to escape
If insomnia has feet,
What kind of shoes can match them?
Thank you, next one, said insomnia.
Shadow outside the window
An anxious bird
Fall into my palm
Treat the texture of fate as its delicious earthworms.
When you realize the existence of the back,
The back has already replaced your legs
& taken you to see the North moon.
Li, Jaoyang (China) is a Chinese poet and translator currently based in New York City. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths University of London and New York University. She writes in Chinese and English; her work has appeared in the LA Reviews of Books-China Channel, 3:AM, Voice and Verse poetry magazine and others.