Diana M. Chien

Some Little Dry Bodies

Some little dry bodies stacked up like sticks
up in the attic with the lavender dust
making a thick lavender paint for the dry
sunken bodies. Who left them here, easily tossed,
lying zig and zag, stacked lightly,
stiffly. They have sweet monkey-faces
under the dust, thumbprint-eyes.
All afternoon their dust is talking,
animated in the light admitted
by attic windows—greenish
light admitted like an emissary.

The light recedes like green water.
Who knows what the dust says at night.


Rats, River

There were rats, mice,
mice and more rats
in among my shoes. I opened
the door and they overflowed,
torrent of little warm furs,
sending up a homely odor.
From their feet, a noise
like dry leaves pulled
by wind over pavement. Over
my feet they poured. Light rolled
back and forth minutely
on the surfaces of their eyes.
The light was grey, the windows had opened
their mouths and the air coming in
was cold. I put my hands down
into the warm bodies and tried
to hold. Endlessly through
my hands they pushed on,
tumbling warm—
            in that endless
space of holding and
not holding I had made
of myself a gate for a language
unmeant for understanding—