8 | ching-in chen

the sky’s full contents


There is a lullaby everybody enters,
a red desert cage where
wooden coffee grinder swims lonely
under the sky.
Next to the ignition,
a white sign buried in the horizon
near muted ground reads,
if Iowa is the future,
we are eager to work today,
My starlings forget the empty living,
their plain stockings.
I plumb my shoulders into the readymade
enemy of yellow juice cartons.
Did you know I hunger for salt?
Everybody’s glistened building rejects my closed moon.
Everybody spits out those blue liquid full bodies,
schooled by the car’s broken directional.


ching-in chen
is the author of The Heart’s Traffic, a novel-in-poems chronicling the life of an immigrant girl haunted by the death of her best friend (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2009). Daughter of Chinese immigrants and a Kundiman Fellow, Ching-In has recently published poetry in Fifth Wednesday Journal, OCHO, Iron Horse Literary Review and Water~Stone Review.