Cathy Park Hong

1976 / Los Angeles, California, United States


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.
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