By Cathy Park Hong
There, garland dandelions round that idol
with a corn husk face &  beard
patched with rat stubble from a barber’s dust pan,

parade float driven by a carriage pulled by a pig.
Two sticks knotted together,
cake frost on that crude wood to make it gilt.

There, spider cranks &  iron gyres,
blueberry stain glass sprout
like wings from coal burn cars,

a trumpet toots the sorrow of another boy dead,
there he is, limp on a gurney wrapped in gingham scrap,
there, he’s blast.

There, roofless houses,
sarong utopias balloon, balloon toward the sky,
while women beat, beat their skulls.

I trail behind, mop in hand,
sloshing scum water over memorials.
There he stares at my tic-torn cankered face,

&  begs for alms, his face horse rudder red.
A son, he huffs, it is a son I want.
I spit into them corned mitt hands.

Source: Poetry (May 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2008
 Cathy Park Hong


Cathy Park Hong’s first collection, Translating Mo'um, was published in 2002 by Hanging Loose Press. Her second book, Dance Dance Revolution, was chosen for the Barnard New Women Poets Prize and will be published by W.W. Norton in 2007. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Her writing on politics and her reviews have . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Class

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