I D K     I S S U E     5


julie chen

Family Friend

it must  have been
           the wrong    lawns
we   slungshot through

     sun stuck   to track desk dust
& bus  crud  onto
           hardwood floors

we  shut the laundry  room   door
           &     in   darkness we slipped
  into  tenderer   roles

    or   maybe  just
 haunted     chasing
 neighborhood  dogs

    booing   rolling stops 
i asked  who your  gods were
      & you asked me mine

       we're  chinese   we decided
   so we named the white man steve
watched  lizards    squish

            on  the     sidewalk —
 remember their   juices
     how they   stained

 like gum? how  you dadded
      the daffodils as i murdered   the

            what a  funereal
  spring    of ant rites &
 shroom        tombs

   smoke blown   in
each other's  mouths   hair
           ties snapped like doll

 necks your face
   a                             blank
i'll  remember


Julie Chen is from San Jose, CA, and lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she works as a paralegal. Her work has been published in Up the Staircase Quarterly and Hyphen.