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.

One thought on “Elegy for Jane

  1. Pingback: Juliana Chang’s debut, “Inheritance,” wins the 2020 Vella Chapbook Contest – Dryland

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