Orbit

by Helena Chung

                                                                    —after Yayoi Kusama

I’m a coward / could not say what scares / me most I want to live

in the moon hide / in her coarse craters (close / the eyes)

we would punch the air from inside her / dirty sedan

our mouths round / and wet our shoes / pointed

glistening with field / dew from a swath / we’d just disturbed

if I asked / for a spaceship my mother / would point

to her / belly as if to say my oh my / you’ve already forgotten

the man had never squashed / fruit for plum wine/ his hands stained

pink for what / seemed like forever after / I stuffed

the white fabric I remembered / the beauty that launched one thousand

harbors into solitude / but what of a woman who can tear

only one dinghy away from a boat / house in summer

the lake thick / with yellow tail the moon / clipped to a crescent

no I thrive / in small spaces the backseats / of black cars hurtling down

95 the moon pressing her face / against the glass the moon

turning the dials slowly.

Helena Chung studies poetry at Johns Hopkins University, where she received a 2015 Academy of American Poets prize. Currently, she serves as a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal. This summer, she will be a 2016 fellow at the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Hopkins Review, DIALOGIST, The Boiler Journal, and elsewhere.