if not beauty
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 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, RABBIT, Rufous City Review, and more.