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Arlene Ang

The Hand in the Specimen Jar



This is an introduction to someone whose face you won’t recall.

This is goodbye without the rest of the body.

This is what stopped having a pulse.

This is a reason to go on living.

This is a specimen of loss. This is finders keepers.

This is Thursday when actually it’s Monday.

This is coming home to a dog and one-third of the neighbor’s cat.

This is a departure from Rachmaninov.

This is possession.

This is letting go.


Different Uses for Window


Replication. Of days, of stars.

A ledge to lean over gauges the distance

to certain death. I have sat

naked to the passing clouds

as they altered the freckles on my skin.

The chairs I’ve thrown out for the pleasure

of wanting them back.

I have scars from glass

where I was shattered. Urgent spasm

of wind. I started out a girl in the tower.

And now this hair outweighs me,

this sun as it transforms

the shoddy braid into gold. My favorite portion

in birds is the wing. Singular.

The promise of flying

without the possibility of cigarettes.

I can stand here forever

and watch the shadow of where I am

as it moves on the ground,

darkening the faces of men 

the second they look up.


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