Build You Up
If it were not so scarred from your accidental
rages—uptown, upstate—I would have rested
on the cinder block of your chest.
If your laugh were not perforated by the asbestos
lace of your lungs, I might have believed it.
If my hands were strong enough to catch the swivel
of your hips—if the rhythm made sense
—I would have fallen into them. And though it might have
I would have lived in the building of you,
climbed ten flights and from the roof of your eyes
watched your sons run to you, the tar
sticking to my feet. Back in the day when
antennae jutted out from the skyline like hungry ribs,
kids like you and me would
put our palms out to feel the heat
escape from the black lava, thick
and slow like thirsty mouths.
-Alison Roh Park
Used by permission.
Alison Roh Park is a writer and cultural worker from Queens, New York. She is a Kundiman fellow and former artist-in-residence at the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, PA where she performed a one-woman show, “A Magpie Sang on the 7-Train.” Her work has appeared in several publications including Mythium Literary Magazine, The NuyorAsian Anthology, The Asian Pacific American Journal among others. She has performed, competed and educated across the U.S. and will receive her MFA from New York University in 2011.
Park appeared on the panel Writing from the Margins: Life, Survival, and Healing for Women of Color and was featured at the 7&7: 7 Poets Celebrate Kundiman’s 7th Year reading at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness 2010.
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