Even the scariest looking insect has my heart / tucked in its legs—dangerous—wooly aphids / dredging in the
terrible light // The tongue of my folks frames me high in fire— / hold out the damage—allowed in
safekeeping— / for profit—     

When all you have is a word that takes on / the season—often in reverse—the order—for cancered / brothers—
A game too old / even the clothes on our humans feel abused—thinned / out underwear—now made easier
for nightmare fucks— / The body inside—pouring out wide

I am clumsy on my back—too set stuck / white—a thing to harbor—this claim—error / language—a candied
canvas to marginalize— / on repeat—the lost country—my virgin health to test— / the weight for marriage
—poem-rearing— / child’s play— // Who else can—land these falls


Khaty Xiong is a second-generation Hmong-American from Fresno, CA. She received her MFA in Poetry from the University of Montana, where she was also the 2013 recipient of the Merriam-Frontier Award for her poetry chapbook Elegies. Her first book of poetry Poor Anima is forthcoming from Apogee Press and her second poetry chapbook Deer Hour is forthcoming from New Michigan Press. Recent publications include Birdfeast, MiPOesias and New Nowhere among other journals. Currently, she resides in Dublin, OH.