This selection, chosen by guest editor Samantha Duncan, is from As She Appears by Shelley Wong, released by YesYes Books in 2022.
Farewell, romantic sacrifice: I choose myself. Some can only love once. How true will it be? I love sequins, but get the sequence confused. At our end, I broke from her & every face grew stranger. Stranger, speak to me like light through a veil. Like a spent match the darlings turn to find me & I fade into the glitter. A sequoia has every vowel. Every vow like a closed hand. When I’ve worn my body down from dancing, I still point to the sky. I will honor my body, my only. My only body, its honor, my will.
Shelley Wong is the author of As She Appears (YesYes Books, May 2022), winner of the 2019 Pamet River Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, and New England Review. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Kundiman, MacDowell, and Vermont Studio Center. She is an affiliate artist at Headlands Center for the Arts and lives in San Francisco.
Samantha Duncan is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including Playing One on TV (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2018) and The Birth Creatures (Agape Editions, 2016), and her work has appeared in BOAAT, SWWIM, Meridian, and The Pinch. She lives in Houston.