open the brutal
by Rita Wong
open the brutal, rupture abundance,
loosen the tyranny of the literal,
slippage is better than nothing,
squirrel running across the grass, a
living question mark bouncing black
& feisty before my eyes, keep moving
like that squirrel, faster than the guard
dog chasing it. change the shape of the
slot slide it somewhere looser, your
teeth a serif that hooks my ear. loose
hair flutters debris in the night, lyric is
not rule but desire, signpost the revolution.
your body’s alphabet encrypts the message.
rising on the silent letter that changes the
sound around it. a woman’s flesh with light
blue roads winding just below the skin, how a
small wrinkle holds years in its fold condenses
time into her line of skin, my line of vision.
This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #163 (Winter 1999), Asian Canadian Writing. (pg. 16)