The Eye of the Cyclone

From The Violet Issue

Ashley Yang-Thompson

A poplar tree shakes its wet hair
in front of a mental hospital in Ch’ŏngyangni
Maybe the night wind is blowing—
the wind woven with the crazy birds’ hair
I place a child on each lit window
and leave the hospital

the-chest-crushed-child    the-lungs-filled-with-stones-child
fluttering-like-a-ripped-ten-fingered-fan-child    the-lips-stuck
together-child    the-eyeballs-melted-child    the-teeth-grinded-away
child    all-of-the-ribs-crushed-child    all-of-the-hair-pulled-out
child    especially-all-of-the-blood-drained-into-the-sewer-child
the-tongue-stretched-out-like-a-gum-child    all-of-the-brain-
sucked-out-by-a-cat-child

The crazy birds put the crowns on each other
and the night sky appears round
A small child stood at the window of a small house in the forest
and a rabbit ran towards the house, knocked on the door, and said
I hear the songs of the children
Help us, help us
The song that pokes my throat like a continuous hiccup
In the middle of the mind of the crazy birds
my children who want to return to my body and lie down
the lit boat carrying the children floats silently