Two poems by Amy Gong Liu • Empty Mirror

Chuckanut rain / credit: deChuckanut rain / credit: de

On my Mother, or Observing Two Deer in the Road with Death Wishes

I don’t share the same sentiment, but my brakes are faulty.
Say, didn’t you enjoy the sun today?
I’ve hurt the people most around me by forgetting how to

boil water, hanging unclean underwear on the line,
listening to conversations with an ah-hm:
laughter is the only thing us women are meant for.

Anyway, I’m trying to understand you at your best.
Shoelacing pearls and food stamps on our wrists,
calling the act of rocking your own children in their ashes a day.

But it’s all morbid to me, and these lessons play noir:
entwine jade with exposed jugulars,
smile like it’s an old kind of a Tuesday.

This country’s eyes are benevolent. If you
stare hard enough, these bright orbs disappear.
You should be warned, though: you will never buy back

the swell of this heartbeat after your impact,
even if you stand and beg for me,
even if you stand and try.

November’s Memory

I have seen how the frost
holds a gun to its own head.
In the fall, it spreads like tame nature,
and the winds have no
choice but to ring out
their particulars through smoke.

This is that time of year
when the congregation equivocates
its whispers to nothing.

All of it, and all of you,
is somewhat like light.
The jade is what the church holds
steady, and its passerbys.
My lungs! Nothing. Neither are you.
If all of anytime is a subpar tarmac
birthed on this concrete,
I’ll scramble for the decaying umbilicals
and taste blood sinking into back pockets.

Honestly, it’s hard to lend.
I’d rather deal with currency.
This task of digging our graves,
therein making our flesh mercurial.

About Amy Gong Liu

Amy Gong Liu is a Chinese-American writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has been published in Hobart, Foglifter, Reality Beach, GASHER, Cosmonauts Avenue, RHINO Poetry, Nightjar Review, and others. She thinks too much (or perhaps too little).

Business Relationships Book