Boys in Uniform


ironing is my least favorite household chore
and i am not particularly good at it. my mother
says men are better at ironing—something
about having more muscle. it is christmas
day and my father is shooting at squirrels
on his roof. i spent the day watching someone
else’s children. living alone is bizarre; for dinner
i had a potato and a handful of dark chocolate
chips. yesterday i had cherries and oatmeal.
sometimes i read the words attempted acts
of terrorism and i think: goddamn i do love those
white boys in uniforms, hair cut short, shoulders like
kansas. they are dusty faces and rolled sleeves,
obedient and respectful: the way i should be: but
a texas tornado that touches down, rips away
an intersection and disappears. it’s hot—that they
could just go crazy on your ass if you fucked with me.
this is not a rape fantasy. i am not prettier
than anyone else here. when i get married, i will send
his shirts out to be pressed. i can’t bring myself
to stop being horizontal. today, i will believe
in everything.

Previously published on Best American Poetry Blog and in print in Nerve Cowboy.

Angela Veronica Wong is the author of the full-length poetry collection how to survive a hotel fire, forthcoming from Coconut Books in 2012.

Object(s) to bring back to life: “Lately I feel fondly toward: Dance cards. Daria. Crushed velvet dresses from the 90s. The music video, back when they were relevant. Muji pens, before their redesign last fall. Road trips. Wax seals. “