SELF PORTRAIT, WITH OR WITHOUT PANDEMIC
This poem was written by Jennifer Lai in a 12-Month Poetry Collection Generator taught by Angel Nafis
Without extra floss. With waiting carrots and celery and onions. Without the barriers of time, or the earth’s extra moon.
how many layers of cotton your family?
Without crowded aisles of banchan at HMart. With a pathway of peaches and other simple constellations.
Without the brand name, please, just the generic this time. With the rest of the animal kingdom.
With the sister who knots together birth and death. With a bowl of chicken soup and so many to share with.
With cruel gods, the one and the same.
DUST WE CARRY, ’DUST WE CARRY
Jennifer G. Lai is a first-generation Chinese American poet, visual artist, storyteller, and audio producer. She currently produces The Slowdown with Ada Limón. Her writing has been published in Pigeon Pages, ANOMALY, Slate, The Huffington Post, and Angry Asian Man, among other places, and have been named as finalists for the 2020 Palette Poetry Prize, as well as Sundress Publications’ 2020 Broadside Contest. As part of the first cohort of Catapult’s 12-month poetry generator with Angel Nafis, she is working on a forthcoming manuscript, DUST WE CARRY. She lives in Brooklyn.
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