Dear 易経 (I Ching),
What is the best way to destroy patriarchy?
In our time, people are simply
benchmarks. Out here, due process is
Misfortune increases, spread by runners.
Parasitic colonies. Interminable
clusters. Success eats itself, flashes
silk plumes. O, the effluence
In the northeast, mathematician loyalists
droop indignant clusters—tight-lobed and inauspicious.
In the southwest, our lanyard of prayers
dangles from a thrush’s beak.
We magnify wind and thunder, advance
xxxxxxxxMauve sepals in excess, a mealy white paste
xxxxxxxxunder our slender floss pods. Carrion-scented
xxxxxxxxlips sticky with minute glands.
We mantle up. We gangplank
our distensions across the brackish river.
Shoulder the inflorescence
of decay. Our bright stain gashes
We, the nonconformist disasters,
hum patiently behind the shank.
Kenji C. Liu (劉謙司) is author of Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. His poetry is in American Poetry Review, Action Yes!, Split This Rock’s poem of the week series, several anthologies, and two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). A Kundiman fellow and an alumnus of VONA/Voices, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in Los Angeles.