_____ I was locked into a single seed, my future fathoming. I was matter underwater and a sheer hoping, when I latched to earth, a first withered bloom. A sonic wonder, I sang about the future. I was master of the oxen pulling me toward dawn, an existence first in death, a state of stillness before beginning, a middle earth of rain. I wore many masks until the right one fit. Then the storm passed and I was wakened by water. Morality I had stolen through the back door, eyed two loaves of bread. In the life before this one, I had seen the window, a greater reflection, yeast in the tin rising fast. My wanting grew. How does desire trump that? Perhaps desire is what we know best when the heart is listless but listening. I memorized my history which was nothing short of gleaming disasters repeated, just for me. History I fell into a patch of green which was earth's matter and fell some more. I am a boy and found myself between war and my own luck, startled myself in goodness and in haste, made a fire and got to cooking. Man: the most tender and incessant beast. A flawed danger but no less beautiful. A prairie where I walk for the first time, where I am the theory of origin: my brain barks in the heat, my legs buckle in the initial step, then a slow certainty, an engine of progress. My ankles turn clockwise in the soil, loosening root and worm, shaking free from the tangle and what held me there. Mambo Sun I was never burned by anything that could touch me and I sat in the imagined throne with spoonsful of red sugar tasting the years ahead of me, wondering of the origin of my mother. I think she is flame and quick step, glee and ignition. I saw her hands once in a flash flood pulling me awake, several claps and then I came alive rising through the underbrush and cadence rumble, then I breathed and found god's bone, cracked in pieces in my throat and my own voice fused to answer back.
Copyright © 2012 by Tina Chang. Used with permission of the author.