This poem is taken from Stand 224, 17(4) December 2019 - February 2020.

Jay G. Ying Poem
The Unofficial History of the Forests

I think even our vermillion bird tensed on the last branch
of the ginkgo as she landed. By the roads to the East our black
yawn of a lagoon unfurls; in a tear in the morning she slipped out,
sclera of the sky caliginous like unused porcelain. On the ranch,
at the final hour, the goaded beetles of stone stripped our failed
looms of sugar cane, the nine toothed rakes creaked in the rheumatic
chill. Remember the sigh of the moon over our orchard of phantoms,
its divine eye blinked twice—I watched it watch me. And that day I
told him not to go swimming, he took ill floating back from the lake,
was my family curse now his to bear? No inscriptive slips pinned
to the leathery hot loft of his mouth, dark as a pig’s heart, tonsils
out, breath sour, wet brows. His rash grew like a fever on a bark.
I cradled him with origin myths as he convulsed in my arms: old
wolf dreaming that he changes back to a woman once again,

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