Gingerbread House Lit Mag

Elegy for Jane

if not beauty
what then,
am I trying to do?
I think, measurement.
I think, memory.

I think, shadow:
block the light, trace the crooked outlines
of your jaw and neck,
prove that the darkness here is worth seeing.

most days, I think
I am a mere goldfish in glass bowl.
I think I am a god. I think I am a god-goldfish
and my orange dorsal fins crawl the sea,
break open waves like little blue ice scabs.

I couldn’t get out of bed today so I eat ten handfuls of
goldfish and a single Dorito for lunch. My teeth crust yellow
and I give myself a stomach ache. It’s not beauty
that I need right now, just rice.
just memory, or another word
for having a known name. I want to be called
to, or called
upon. how many poems do you think
a god-goldfish can summon?
I want words, just words,
just words, and just waves, and just ice—
oh! the things I would pluck from between my own scales
to see you laugh again.

Juliana Chang

Juliana Chang is a Taiwanese American writer and filmmaker. She received a BA in Linguistics and a MA in Sociology from Stanford University in 2019. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in The Chestnut Review, K’in, RABBITRufous City Review, and more.

Artwork: Yuumei



This entry was published on July 31, 2020 at 12:07 am and is filed under 43 (July 2020), Current Issue, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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