Jane Wong is currently the recipient of a '07-'08 U.S. Fulbright Creative Writing
fellowship in Hong Kong. She holds a B.A. from Bard College in Literature and
Creative Writing and also received awards and scholarships from the Bread
Loaf Writers Conference, the Academy of Amercan Poets, Naropa University's
Summer Writing Program, and the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets.

The Awfulness of Dinner Ready

There are fox-holes
in the dill weeds,

a fish marring
on the bank.

I hear the calling
of my name,

under crisps and cutlery.

As I love,
mice are in the cupboard

milk frozen
on their mouths.

At worst,
the rice water

is stinking and
muttering awfulness.

This is at worst.
They tell me, Daughter,

the cut on your knee
will heal.

But my overalls
are spoiled over and

must be thrown
below the sink.

Dinner is ready and
I am under

the legs again
Above me,

kicks are shouting
with soup.

Facts to Know

When she braided my hair,
I rested my head between her legs
and told her a fact. Something like
bacteria in yogurt and black lungs
when you smoked too much.
She made me quiet
with a lick of her hand,
taming strands that ran.

Winter came and went,
the thaw revealing
newspapers crumpled
at driveway mouths.
In the cold, she zippered my coat
and told me to stop making faces,
it'll freeze that way.
I didn't listen though,
sticking out my tongue.
I caught the splashes of gasoline and slush
from the cars that drove by.
She told me that I should have known,
that winter doesn't taste good
and peaches don't come in cans.

The Spare Suit

the suit smelling of flu
the suit of too-short sleeves
the never went to church suit
the suit to fit my son when his legs and arms
burst through his suit

spare suit like spare tire
like accidental recovery suit
like spare change suit
like sack full of pennies suit

the around the house suit
the stuff under the door in a flood suit
suit hanger rust under a bag uncared for suit

spare suit what is ill fitting as the body changes
the gravity uncontrollable suit
the suitable I-might-ask-to-marry-you-in-this-suit

spare suit as a reminder of wearing
spare suit becoming the do-not-wear suit
will- not-wear suit
the no-thank-you suit
the no pleasantries suit

the what will become of you? suit

The Kissing Box; Swimming Pond

By this pond
where old shoes tumbled near the bottom and
miniature vessels went to pieces among the duckweed
(it is here that a drowned man kept his home)
they laughed in their sodden mittens,
tossing slush against the kissing box -

my glasses were crooked but clear;
I could hear the bayberry drip above me.

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