Notes Recorded after Forced out of REM Sleep
by Yim Tan Wong

Began in human color with human worries,
turned cartoon, a lollipop or talking fish
commercial. I walked where pictures appeared.

Corner after corner, an old woman slid trash
into public dustbins with a motion much like
slipping a note into a letterbox, test answers

or warnings to the future. The letters had yellow,
cross-hatched auras covered in glass, covered in
grass with blood on it, blood with tacks in it.

It was a Tuesday evening when only one eye
and one arm worked as I swam through a train
submerged in the sea after an obliterated accident.

Three Tuesday evenings in a row, same wreck.
Sometimes my body particulated, flaked like
onion skin, off-air television snow, action no story.

I could travel fast, California to Callisto,
food-free, oxygen-free, money-free, injury-free.
Traveling slowly, every overpopulated scene a threat.

I walked by a hearse, so full of flowers
no room was left for a corpse. Nevertheless,
I begged a selfish sort of prayer that went

Not him, not him, not us, and I had to
work so hard not to chant the opposite.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

Yim Tan WongYim Tan Wong is a Kundiman Emerging Asian American Poets Fellow and holds an MFA from Hollins University.  She recently received her very first Pushcart nomination,

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