Session Three Anthology
MENTOR: Paul Tran
端午 FIX SPACING
In May the poet threw himself into the river & choked
on his own spine.
When the fish gnawed his bloat it is said that commoners wept
rice into his sacred bones,
told the fish to keep blackened mouths
agape, turned flesh into wanting. Turned flesh
sweet with sugar. Any body as long as there is taste. Any body
as long as it’s not mine to hold. I wonder
how the rice felt, how she became an offering to the lesser
gods of the river. How even fish are holy when there is something for them to eat.
In May I sweep sticky rice out from under rugs, watch it cling to my bones as if it knows the
name for corpse-substitute, flesh-imitation. I wonder if it knows we are one & the same,
loose skin a bored god sang life into, a tethered world gorged on its own desperation.
I wonder how long we have until sacrifice no longer is remembrance, & neither are enough.
I wonder if anything can be
divine if it has a mouth big enough to eat.
Eva Gu is a Chinese-American undergraduate student at New York University, and an alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. She is a San Francisco Bay Area native. Her work has been published in the Eunoia Review and the Kenyon Anthology. When she is not stressing about writing, she spends most of her time missing her cat at home or exploring the muted metropolis of New York City.
What Was Left Instead of Standing
edicated to Desmond Crafton
Can’t believe he’s gone. Can’t believe you’re going. Can’t believe this family
died. I never talked in past tense until I realized we went through a lot.
She agreed. We all walked off. You never talked about Afghanistan. Still
haven't heard anything new. He knew and was okay. I froze. Her tears
dropped. You left. We walked off. Family became circuland. We talked
a week before. Death ate us whole. I wish he had infinite lives like Pacman.
This was supposed to be a safe space. Speechless. I didn’t talk for two days.
Nobody wants to see you go. He knew. They calmed you down. Check
methods became just check ins. Circuland. Can’t believe this family died.
You were his; not mine. Put panties on all your cards. They only read
my punch. We couldn't bring liquids onto the floor. Tears dropped. You put
the world into his pocket for me. I thank you for that. He tells me he doesn't
live in the past. You told me it's going to hurt regardless. You never talked
about Afghanistan. Fort Benning, Georgia dried your tongue out. I haven’t seen.
Red is still a familiar color. She is red. Haven’t heard anything new. Can’t
believe you’re going. Came back. Circuland. You’re going. She agreed. We all
walked off. She moved where the preacher sung. They froze: love. I don’t live.
Tuesdays are past tense. She showed adulthood. He never even liked her.
Fam. You left. I loved you.I kinda wanna cry about it, I cared so much I didn’t save
myself. He knew that sleep would be infinite and was okay.
We thank him for that.
Kendall Sharita Roberts is an 18 year old born and raised south sider of Chicago.She is an activist, artist, and teaching artist. Growing up in the poetry community she has had the experience of being a Louder Than A Bomb captain,coach,and participant for the past 5 years. Published and freelance writer for Young Chicago Authors,In June 2016 she was published in 826Chi’s chapbook A Record in Space, 2017 published in the Hyde Park Art Centers Zip Zap Zin. Since 2014 A teaching artist for the non-profit R.O.Y.A.L Revolution of Young Artist as Leaders in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood at Cook Elementary School, and as of 2017 a teaching artist for Hyde Park Art Center Arts and Restorative Justice program. Kendall has been interviewed for websites like DnAinfo and has done multiple Q&A’s for Student teachers at Illinois State University.