anger is a scene, a man and another man outside are fighting,
the inward sensation is a sky covered in burning crows, their movement
is shattering glass, the mouth is March and packed raw, it is early
morning and everything is a delicate pinprick, the heart a cold balloon,

floating in midair, a sound is waiting, wrought with worry, it buries
itself growing roots, but the sincerity seems fake, the mud too soft,
bending out of shape, the world is an inward sensation, and the sky is
covered in red peering through yellow leaves,

so thirst becomes a story, the frustration unkind, wrapped in loose seams,
trees are confused and dropping seeds, the mud is a world, sour mixed
with sleep, a fire is waiting, and the afternoon is lingering into the night a
dead tedium on the brink of war.


Today is the day, the sky mandates it, then wide fields
dilute out. Our imagination slips down a coin bag
where bad pennies hide. There is a river flowing home.
We know this because salmon are swimming in there.
Their skin is yellow and brown, a mistake.

Above us, a hawk circles and circles, looking for October
wings. We know this because his color is a sharp orange
that wants to cut paper. His eyes are fixated with a dire
gaze; and now perched on a tree, the hawk is boiling.
We stare at him for answers.

This is the place, it has to be. This is where we belong.
The hawk shrieks a quick snap of metal and we start
digging with our hands, grabbing into the dirt
with a satisfaction like exposing a liar.

But we are lost, so we blame everything:
our fingers, limbs and unattractive bodies, then
the mysteries of white elks, sharp winds, distant sirens
that wail and regale us with false teeth, this city,
mother, father, home, rivers, morning promises,
bad sex and boiled potatoes. We point and point.
We name everything.

Stanford Chen has taken workshops at Kearny Street Workshop and attended the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts and has work forthcoming in AAWW The Margins. He is currently based in Z├╝rich, Switzerland.