December 17, 2008

a hiss

lean over pressing ear to wall
why, does it hurt?
stop breathing and hold your stomach still
hear the sound of disapproval
how loud it can be

one finger for a sunbeam
a palm for a custom personal eclipse
the grass has turned yellow, pale
why, are you scared?
are you alone?

(it's such a pity things turned out this way)

ride home sitting on the D1 bus
smile at the neighbors
smile at the kids
eat frozen patties
that taste like plastic
one pain at a time
check e-mail

the same sound
the contempt, the disapproval
the lonely crowd heckling at you
the turnstiles and your purple hip
the walking inside a studio apartment
that can barely fit one
so it was never apt for two and you

the same sound when you lean against the wall
why, it hurts?
the hiss
the roaring silence of a room with no view
same sound lean wall roaring black silence
and you deal with it

brian chen (San Diego, CA, 1978)