Kirsten Chen’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Artist Catalogue, NYU’s Anamesa, PANK, Best American Poetry blog, the Seventh Wave, VIATOR and more.
at the tiny ant on my window sill!
So desperate for a piece of cracker.
So hungry for a lick of salt.
over makeshift mountains of books
thick with the grime of untouched pages.
See there’s Hitchhiker’s guide
and in the corner is Great
Expectations, and Little Women.
Oh, my old diary; its broken spine.
On the ledge,
The Economist is being used
as an ashtray surrounded by news-
paper clippings and research articles
—the top one on Happiness and Work.
And this is where my ant gets lost
in the crease between chapters folded in.
She lands on page 89, a section circled in red.
It reads: Karoshi:
sudden, occupational death.
Poor miss ant doesn’t know
which way to go,
so she bores herself
into the binding, gets stuck
under a salt crystal
and I watch as she tries
to crumb her way out
Anatomy of night
Bodies—what a hassle!
Will you take this parcel of tendon?
This a lot to ask another.
But if you’re going
to come inside, I may as well brief you:
I have an affinity for the left
and sometimes I stay
curled up all night, awake
at myself in cycles
in search of a comfortable position
and for some reason my
fists, bend into wrists—
an awkward kind of solace
my eyes, open
drying at the dark,
craning toward you.