–Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty, 1910

We did it
by singing.
Our beetle-stained grins,
our veiny calves,
and the loose change
of our stomachs.
We did not have
enough oil
for the daylight

A hand-held angel
the gender of our baby
with a stroke of its cold
metal palm.
Sophia Grace, it said.

I was happy
as pie a la mode
when she came out of the womb—
she crooned for the neighbors
who zealously waited
outside our room.
They hoisted my legs
on their shoulders
and paraded me into the street
while I shook her smile
and her howling song
like a trophy.

Those two years
Sophia Grace ate
much better than we did.
I admit my envy
with the music
of my bass-drum-hunger.

When you died, Grace waddled
over to your body
and laid her velvet ear
on your forehead.
I would like to imagine
she heard the piano,
and she did hear it—
it had no strings,
yet the musician kept on
to his nocturne, the hollow
moan and screech of keys,
and your soul leapt
from the willows – glimmering
as if dipped in paint.

Those field-worn hands—
the cold conquered them
instantly. The meat
of the cantaloupe
or honey-dew
was your kiss!
I doubt these empty pockets
could produce a grave
or plot of land
or shovel—my fingers
cannot penetrate this
scorched, mountainous earth:
and always,
there is hunger.

I will admit
that I do not know
if I should
hold you
or eat you.

ghost x garden x grow

I had to haul my baby sister out of the blood-drenched soil once I was done watering life back into the wet, clumpy post-abortion fetal tissue she used to be. Like all babies, she kicked and screamed.