Kimmy Chang

Applause Issue 32 Label

year before you left home

the beginning is filled by green hills and their dark outlines,
the crows of wild roosters along the roadside.

but today is another long commute. muddy and foggy.
and soon, it reduces to only the pavement gray.

as a kid, your fingers used to trace the car window rain,
as small drops were consumed by the larger waters rolling by.

and as your mother, i want to relive the memories—our old car rides—
when musky tunnels were caterpillars with legs of light.

but today, your mind seems heavy with the gravity of deadlines
and i don’t want to burden you with my reminiscing talk.

so i resign myself to tim mcgraw and the weather report
on the drive there and back and all the many more drives.

but there was a fear in me that kept growing
because if there was already this space between us,

the leaving
had already begun


the ice on the bordering evergreens was weeping,
the air a winter apple.

the bare pine stood at the courtyard center,
with youthful branches climbing high.

the old dog is asleep inside the living space,
the breathing a steady rise-and-fall.

the windows reflect the white clouds drifting,
with a pink-orange color setting the sun.

the place has been home since birth.
the years rooted in foundation cracks.

the home, the year later, is a shared dormitory
with no door or dividers inside.

the candle mom sent burns low on the table,
the mind of mine sits at the desk.

the dinner is a halved version of a family recipe
with the tongue-taste of being pulled back in time.

Kimmy Chang is often found writing poetry and (deleting) code, cooking super-dry cookies, and chasing after her bunnies/dog.

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