Cover Photo: Original illustration by Sirin Thada featuring many schools of fish, an underwater doorway, and a person standing in it with a suitcase.
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

Origin Story

I became an invader myself / a pathogen with survival traits

Steven Duong · ORIGIN STORY

Origin Story

an invasive species of love which said
if this is how you live your life
  perhaps you should live it elsewhere

& so I did

  I lived it elsewhere

in a waterproof shell
said goodbye to the Asian carp
the kudzu vines
the bark beetles stripping the coast
of music

a pathogen with survival traits

delivering small mammals
to the owners of piranhas

I sank to the bottom of Lake Malawi
& rose finned & wealthy

became a tank became a bowl

Steven Duong is an American writer from San Diego. A 2021 Poetry Coalition Fellow at Kundiman, his writing is featured or forthcoming in Guernica, AGNI, The Massachusetts Review, and other venues. He will be starting his MFA in Fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in the Fall of 2021.