Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

Two Poems

Two Poems

Formatting for image content: Photograph via Flickr by Hope Abrams

Or Am I

A curtain of starlings rises from wheat.
They spread to a sheet, then close as if
a single fist, as if an organ pumping

asymmetrical and patternless toward the road.
At the thin corner of my headlights
a storm of black and green flashing

eyes upon feathers. How close the glass and metal
hum between us, the blood rushing
all our veins. How close I come

to covering my eyes. You and I are nothing
like starlings. We are not apace in blood rhythm
or breath. My body makes a room for you,

a brush stroke, a blue light. In the end, a combine
will churn you up from my field.
I dream a flock of starlings between

my legs. Are you the shifting mass
or am I? Are you the trembling road or am I?
Are you the mindless organ or am I?

Are you the one bird in the body
who sees the light nearing, who makes
the first turn the others depend on?

Are you the fluttering, watery flock inside
or am I?


When my mother asked the fortuneteller
to send my grandfather’s spirit
home to Hoi-Ping, the fortuneteller
asked for an egg.

What we cannot see exploding inside.
What we think we need light for.

My mother watched the old man make
the egg stand up. Spirit in balance,
protein equilibrium.

Fatherless and at peace, my mother buries
the egg in the yard—not exactly dead
since nothing in there ever got started.
The watery half life inside its cradle and coffin.