I watch them wield
a mirror under my mother’s wheelchair
as if searching for a car bomb
and think: well this is home.
Home of the barefoot and bandit
shampoos. All sanitary accomplices
placed on the no-fly-list until further
notice. My mother’s limp body
in my solar plexus, resting. A knife
prime for buttering that I snuck
through the radars just to test their systemic eyes.
I must be ready to smear someone to death.
They scope her sides, still
on the hunt, then satisfied, trade her back
to me to slip her silken heels into sheepskin shoes
and push on up the ramp.
Kirsten Shu-ying Chen is an NYC-based poet currently pursuing her MFA at the New School. She founded the artist collective BTP and teaches a creative writing workshop at the Ali Forney Center in Harlem. Her work has previously been published or is forthcoming in Anamesa Journal, Artist Catalogue, Best American Poetry blog, Seventh Wave, and VIATOR, among other publications.