The colonized are under constant revision

Kenji C. Liu

Here among the chrysanthemums

waiting for disembarkment

we are frayed flags

My folding body touches its peaks

Star lodged in the loose skinned sky

From within, the imperfect and

the not yet perfected

I become a starling

falling burning from the tree

Guts lined with startled

Home tumbles and

yet the walls keep rising

Are you still made

of the fear of heaven

Where is the way back

to your mother’s cup of tea

Brighter sun —

we cast thin shadows

that doubt themselves

Behind us

flowers no longer

bend beneath our palms

My home in every space

between things

but not the things themselves

In the name of heaven

I tack on metal wings and

become gratitude

Cleave to the borrowed

about the author