Creation Myth with Birds
My name 莉 a creature Nüwa
would swath in the dead of night,
when a man could shoot six birds
with one bullet & still find his way
home by blood. I know so much
about creation, how a language
can become both homeland
Myth #1: girl climbs
to the highest mountain, turns
sparrow & flies to the moon.
The moon becomes her lover
& she does not speak enough
Mandarin to say that she loves it.
I am speaking, of course,
of my mother, nursing bird-bodies
back to life.
Myth #2: girl turns
ghost & stone-heavy, lives
in an empty field where the kids
play pirate with tree branches
& the talons of some unlucky bird.
Nüwa grows a finch, a daughter
from prairie grass, crafts bones
she could hide in my mouth.
girl escapes winter for a house
with a glass boat inside it. A language
that takes my hands & replaces them
with perfect wooden replicas. & I
am sorry that I have not grown
to love this body. & I confess
to all the histories I’ve stolen
from Nüwa. But still, I will sing
her name as creation.
about the author