the absent thing

I want to tell you it won’t end here.

I asked for the street where you lived.
I didn’t send a letter.
This time, this time and night.

She said, another language flocks to my window.
I say, yes.
Then, please.

These nights I can feel the bones in my hands.
The winter eyes.
I ask no questions.
But I never did.


Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). She is a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow (2008), part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and a participant in the Theatrical Jazz Institute. She has worked in the San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston Asian American communities.


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