Poetry / October 2017 (Issue 37)

Two Poems

by Judith Huang


We arrived in the Big Apple in the late afternoon
and my dad insisted on finding some roast duck.
In the windows, chicken parts glittered like tiny jewels,
and I asked the lady. She grinned.
Lady Liberty can be seen for free. I've done it myself. You get on this boat from the ferry
terminal, which is a big white room full of tourists and with clear glass walls to let the light in. It
gets a bit crowded but it's a big ferry, and when it comes the crowd parts gently and scatters to
the upper decks of the thing. From the pier she's a smidgen, but grows tantalisingly, using up our
excitable rolls of film. I am startled to see she is green and not white as I’d imagined.

Copper oxidises, my dad said. Besides, I'd probably mixed her up
with Venus de Milo.
Later that night, during Beauty and the Beast
I caught my dad weeping with emotion
but wiping his small eyes surreptitiously. I thought,
That's a lot of human hair to collect for a fursuit.
When we got back, we opened the Styrofoam packets
to heat up our roast duck. There was a third box;
I nudged my thumb against its lid, and it sprung:
Nestling in a gelatinous heap were forty chicken claws,
each glistening with its own inner light.
I gasped. "This really is a marvellous city."
He grunted and produced two small packets
of Starbucks milk he had filched.
We caught the last set at some jazz joint somewhere
where you ordered their best champagne,
not knowing the names of any other drinks.
And afterwards being of Oriental constitution,
we staggered back cheerfully, I leaning on
the arm of the man
I've loved the longest,
the arm that shook
unsteadily since the day I yowled
for milk, and laughed at our utter simple lack of uneasy
laughs, when I told you to order a Blue Moon,
then hate the Cosmopolitan I get myself.


she slipped by idly
she gave me the slip
her lip, her lip
her white hard lip
her gills, O
her little red eye.
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ISSN 1999-5032
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