For as long as the stars do not seem to align in an orderly manner, as long as such lost light sources make their way into the spinning crevices of her ribcage, she will continue to ask herself: How does one make a habitation of it? What is the relationship between a woman’s body and her desire
for wholeness? What does a body know better when it is alone. It radiates in multiple directions
and cannot be caught in a fistful. She collects postcards of abandoned churches, illegal housing structures, storm-hued temples. She takes photographs of burning coils dangling from the ceiling and pays homage to the oldest tree in the village, on which wishes hang in pink string and plastic oranges. We lay down roots, and then we find the earth has cracks, like skytop branches of a dark Manzanita. For in a world where boundaries are slowly shifting, we begin with a map of the body in motion.
Copyright © 2018 by Jennifer S. Cheng
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Jennifer S. Cheng is the author of HOUSE A, selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the 2015 Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize, and Invocation: an Essay, an image-text chapbook published by New Michigan Press. Her work appears in Tin House, AGNI, Mid-American Review, DIAGRAM, Entropy, The Normal School, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and awards from Brown University, the University of Iowa, San Francisco State University, the U.S. Fulbright program, Kundiman , Bread Loaf, and the Academy of American Poets. Having grown up in Texas and Hong Kong, she currently lives in San Francisco. www.jenniferscheng.com
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