Kristin Chang


At night the Huangpu

brights and tangs like a pelt in oil.
Wind in my hot mouth a stinking pup.

Riverside the immovable state of things:
surface upon surface upon surface
not water. You talk about what it's like to

stand in holes killing time, to
powder the stink of a bombsite you
claim is the math of breath on body,

KOs that ghost. In reality it is famous,
a bombsite people visit, yearly or even
weekly, to determine if they still care.

In Shanghai 35 people got trampled
and fell off balconies the night of the American
New Year because the coupons dropped

from a helicopter (2 yuan off any drink from
the hotel bar) were from a distance
green as American money.

In Shanghai the birds sound
almost human. Like ravens, they learn to recognize
a self in the mirror. But they are not ravens

Kids don't learn their names.
But have caught at least 2 of them
which is not at all sad to us.

The birds are better
off bonesoft and moonfat in their cages
than slotted into the night like stolen

currency. The people who died were mostly women.
Their bodies mostly salt. At night the Huangpu's
tongue of salt is almost nostalgic, almost full

bail posted for a functioning sea. This is when
we meet in a hole. Discuss the news, our
complete blood counts, that Chinese man with 2

penises who finally wrote a tell-all memoir.
On the cover he is wearing bluewash jeans
and the penises are obvious

as the birds I hold in my throat. Now is when we
talk about this, about grooming a site green,
about meat wetting in the sink and

the small flight of women from balconies,
about the aftermath of what's called water

when we're no longer mistaken for birds.

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