The Egg

held to the nose
took me back to the field
where my mother held
a chicken’s neck down
with thin branch arms
and struck its neck –
that whimpering bridge
from brain to heart –
with a cleaver as wide
as a flooded river.
Her reflection in the shine
of it – her yolk-swamped
eyes, the speckled pluck
of her brow, measuring
the animal’s past life.
How it would stir
in the mucus of the hull,
touch its beak to the cool
crater, testing it how
my brother and I yearned
to lick the sugar spackle
of an Easter egg but
were told: no, not yet.

Mad

Jane, deceived by _____ time and again, should not _____ but she _____ and slept with curled
fists for eternity.

The rat catching a ride on the turtle wins _____. Ugly and coarse, but _____.

Beware of strangers who _____ and win your _____ and lick the sweat off your nose in false _____, just to taste their own _____.

Do not trust in owls, in heads that spin. Heads should not spin nor stink, like ammonia in the armpits, like a habit of _____.

Do not pause to watch insects _____ like dangling lights. Their soft speckled bodies, a minutia of buzzing dandelion seeds, have already _____ you in the neck. Blood on their spindle tongues. This is a metaphor for _____.

There are no wolves in this tale. Only handsome _____ with pea-green eyes who will tell you: “you are as soft as _____.” Then, they will carefully cut _____ and _____.

Seek only the smallest kindness, of shaking out a pebble from a neighbor’s shoe, to do unto others what you _____. Did you swallow _____?

Jane, called “intense.” Surely, heads spun, owl-struck, stating: “If only she _____.” Called “feisty,” “talks too _____ or talks too _____.” Often: “too smart for _____ good,” “I never thought you’d be _____, looking like _____,” “you have big eyes for a _____,” “curiously strong” or “______ weak,” or “it’s just _____ and it’s for the best.”

Her hair though, is the best, and is remarkably like kindling and okay for _____ to touch, light, and ingest in flame, strand by _____. Ignore when she says _____ or _____. This is _____ of Jane.

Jane rubbed salt all over her body to become a dissolving _____ and thusly, rightfully so, _____ right out of this _____ world.

Jane Wong

Jane Wong's poems can be found in Best American Poetry 2015, American Poetry Review, Third Coast, jubilat, and others. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Hedgebrook, and Bread Loaf. She is the author of Overpour (Action Books, 2016) and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University.

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