This is the black forest of my heart,
this is my circumference.
See snow patches and brown leaves on the grass,
snow and orphaned leaves with nowhere to go.
May I ask what still clutches the soil?
And what’s that quivering in your bag?
The window is always left open.
Window and the winter chill.
I close the door behind me and go
(I ask the door to be quiet).
I’m not so stupid as Orpheus.
I never look back.
It’s good to breathe like nobody out there,
trample freely in my laced boots.
I kick up as much earth as I could.
I stop by a small stream.
I pull open my bag:
car keys, my phone, pens and vitamins.
I send them off.
They obey the water and dissolve.
I’m not a puppet anymore, I don’t need anyone.
And why are you surprised?
I’m changing my season for good:
look the sea-gazing palm trees,
swinging hammocks, and all
paradise birds singing my name.
Previously published in Glass: A Journal of Poetry.
Jennifer Wong is a Hong Kong-born poet. Her poem “Myth” was long-listed in the Plough Prize. Her first poetry collection is Summer Cicadas (Chameleon Press) and her second collection, The Foreign (Salmon Poetry), is forthcoming. She studied English at Oxford and took an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, UK.
Object(s) to bring back to life: “Body-hugging qipao dresses.”