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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, May 29, 2017.
About this Poem 

“This poem is a part of a series of epistolary poems that are in my  forthcoming book, Barbie Chang.  I wrote these to my children, knowing that despite the wisdom that comes with my own aging, they will still have to make all the same mistakes (more or less) that I have made, which is a scary thought.”
—Victoria Chang

Dear P.

Someone will        love you     many will      love

you         many will brother you   some of these

loves will        bother you   some   will      leave you

one might        haunt   you      hunt you in your

sleep        make you       weep the tearless kind of

weep the         kind of weep   that drowns your
   
organs     slowly    there are little oars  in your body      

little boats   grab onto them and row and        row

someone will tell you      no       but you won’t   know

he is    right until you have   already        wrung your  

own heart dry    your hands dripping knives    until

you have    already   reached your hands into       his       

body and put them through his        heart     love is

the only thing that       is not    an       argument

Copyright © 2017 by Victoria Chang. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 29, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Victoria Chang. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 29, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang is the author of Barbie Chang (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). She lives in Southern California.

by this poet

poem

Then we are in the back seat of a car kissing
           not the light kind but one where our
    hands are on each other’s cheeks holding
                 each other’s heads as if they will fall

off why does so much love come at the beginning
           then disappear then once again at

poem
The Blue Dress—died on August 6,
2015, along with the little blue flowers, 
all silent. Once the petals looked up.  
Now small pieces of dust. I wonder 
whether they burned the dress or just 
the body? I wonder who lifted her up 
into the fire? I wonder if her hair 
brushed his cheek before it grew into a
2
poem
Once Barbie Chang worked on a
     street named Wall
 
once she sprinkled her yard with
     timed water once
 
she wore lanyards in large rooms
     all the chairs
 
pointed in the direction of one
     speaker