This selection, chosen by guest editor Samantha Duncan, is from As She Appears by Shelley Wong, released by YesYes Books in 2022.
Winter Pineapple with Sea
When the sun pierces my brick turret, I awaken with drawn-out limbs, a spare dancer, dreamless in a beam of dust. What’s in my chest is not a fist, nor a peony but something knotted & harder to pull awake. I sense its shooting music & not its heat. Like a returning sea captain, I should place a pineapple by the door as an invitation for guests. Down the street, a tree strips to bone. Because she peeled my first peach, they rot in my kitchen. I keep buying them, though the thought of their sweetness stings. In the polar winter, snow erases snow. I leap over ice in a pineapple skirt as the wind sends its voltage through the low landscape. I see & tell myself I am seeing. Startle, startle I say, a hand on my heart. How the season holds, rippling arpeggios while I play a spectator, a flash of gold, a ship dropped in a stilled sea.
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.
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