What I wanted: hairy forearms & a plot.

An unspeakable aunt, a bank robbery in Buenos Aires, somebody regal’s


scandalous pineapple.

What I received: a lot of dead trees. Fresh dog shit in old snow. February,


February. & the moon

hanging low, pimply, recently shaved to a single pale curl.


Inner Resources, I implore you,

I reemploy you, this time to shut the studio down, stop all production


on Captain America 20: The Poolboy

vs. the Pineapple. Give me the mind to give the dog shit another, better line,


to see the moon

as ancient ping pong ball, or sweet enormous coconut, cracked


& about to spill.

Or no, give me the soul to give in to devastation, the honed bare clarity, 


winter insisting

on itself. Let me see, if not want, that beauty. 



Chen Chen is the author of two chapbooks, Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press) and Kissing the Sphinx (forthcoming, Two of Cups Press). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, The Massachusetts Review, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, and The Best American Poetry. He holds an MFA from Syracuse University and is a PhD candidate in English & Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. 


Next Poem

Back to Table of Contents