I spent the whole night
picking pieces of rice
off my shirt to imagine
what it might be like
But in the end, I fell
asleep because I was tired,
not because I wanted
to forget about the hunger
in my stomach
refusing to die.
After Cao Zhi’s Quatrain in Seven Steps
If you poured our blood into the ocean
It would rise or sink to the same level
Like liquids we too can be disrupted
Knowing that we will find our way back
After Li Bai’s Thoughts in the Silent Night
I sometimes imagine you as the night fog
Suspended above my porch light
I dream that you will be waiting to greet me
In the morning as droplets on my window
BROTHER, I’M HUNGRY
cracked knuckles quietly bleeding over steaming
pot softly blanketed by brothers hand catching
tears diving headfirst into patience for mother
chopsticks clicking stirring thin ramen
twisting into hunger gē gē wǒ hěn è wǒ hěn
è wǒ hěn è ni kěbǐ kěyǐ zuò dōngxī chī
canyons dug between ribs pale
winds standing shirtless outside in
brothers blue jeans cuffed four times ripped
eight tripped nine threads dragging behind
leaving tracks through dirt
footprints trying to walk away
Let them laugh at the way
your eyes slant.
Let them mimic your face
with their hands
stretching the sides of their skin.
Let them throw rocks at your head
and break your favorite
Lego man keychain, but never let
them try to stop the bleeding
after it’s started.
Only you can do that.
Kyle Liang is a 22-year-old, first-generation-born Asian American and author of the forthcoming chapbook, ‘How to Build a House,’ winner of the 2017 Swan Scythe Press Chapbook Contest. His work has appeared in a number of places, including Stirring, Voicemail Poems, Apogee and more. Kyle is also a Best of the Net nominee, playwright, actor, and teary-eyed PA student struggling to keep up with the demands of the healthcare field and grad school. You can find more of his work at kyleliang.com.