Three Poems by Rachel Lim

in which we whisper sweet nothings into the ears of snow gods

quick-footed black umbrella women into the belly of the beast,
meet me at the intersection where jefferson grazes fourth
this is where we will drop rusted anchor and make home

march snowfalls ain’t got nothing on us. winds overlapping
and crisscrossing thunder me down this morning street
the way we were. this city is luscious tongue-lapping
old world meets new wonder

in my dreams i ride piggyback style on the back
of a homeless man as my father watches me from the grave

world is a conundrum tornado spiraling
in fits of purple fury laced with the scent of ancestors
howling from their violet cribs, this is why
i invent a jesus figure to absolve me from my sins and steer
my bare-backed fortress in the left of right direction

if you need guidance it is written in the grim-speckled notes
of march falling snow, in the need of the female body
to unfurl its grecian-made limbs, smashing
its porcelain cave on the way out

when aristotle rationalized himself to sleep he forgot
to account for the transience of wonder. sleep-heavy body
meets water haze world, if you are orange in a sea of yellow
then you will be the only lone ranger to ride out the storm


but it’s lost before it reaches you

with spring comes the realization
that i feel more comfortable
transposing
love sensations on to
imaginary beings
than flesh and blood creatures

it is easier to kiss
the immaterial
to grovel at the feet of a transient
lust monster to weep for the return
of a boy
who never was

at night i get into bed with
a hungry ghost
and am reminded of
what it feels like to be
a child
again


sunday morning hymn for the berlin wall

hate me try to break me apart but i will still be
here, standing. a history of escape attempts and eventual
fall slices and zigzags this stuff matters
in the game i’m playing

she feels an affinity with the wall

arnoldo usually wears a goofy grin on his
smooth round face construction bank four times longer
now the crowd was listless, weeping openly and chanting

we are one people

in his game
i’m playing team deathmatch

we’re changing

i dissolving in front of our eyes on the verge
of losing meaning. when the wall fell
artists packed up their paintbrushes and headed
for north vietnam and other places of
hate around the street

but i truly miss the wall. international tourist travel
tore an insidious myth into one’s own protecting barrier.
cut through the dancing, good morning leftist elites,
cross beneath an opening always celebrated

audacity hadn’t crashed through your basement of hate
and the garage underneath is hosting a celebration
for soprano and piano

hacked into pieces as souvenirs,
what i got was a dankly bitter tale of betrayal
too sophisticated for the adolescent me


Profile: Rachel Lim

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