[who are you]


who are you to say we are the lucky ones - perhaps we are the bedamned, the beflighted - to have one more day through the eyes of a child - i used to speak with objects - now we are the objectified - the belighted, delights for the spotlighted - why is it necessary to be another marie, another louis - every action catalogued, monologued - the gaudy decorations of our vaudeville lives - take a second - hit pause look - not everyone should be true to themselves - would you say that to a criminal - the assailants are sailing in up the river - a saint has been immortalized in a minaudière to hang forever lifeless from a woman's shoulder - does strangulation by diamond choker constitute sanctification?


 

[i am collecting]


i am collecting my hair — the shantung women have flocked outside — cash in your favorites here — to braid into crowns for those who shout anonymous — the charlatanical suitors slide into black envelopes — the mansion is giftwrapped in duprioni — your name is on the list — the courtesans have been suited in chartreuse — they’re all windscreamers, don’t bother — actively abort the changeant — take a shot across a coronation — the silk is wefted — the guarded board will never abdicate — taffeta armor for the shining extractors — pump up the drag amidst the whisper of rope — the charmeuse rings, the bowed rungs are waiting — float my strands back to me untied.


 

STELLA WONG is the author of Spooks, winner of the Saturnalia Books Editors Prize, and American Zero, which was selected for the Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize by Danez Smith. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her poems have appeared in POETRY, Colorado Review, Lana Turner, Bennington Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.