12.1 / SPRING / SUMMER 2017


this poem is about my father.
this poem is about egg wash,
my mother, and my hair held
up by the crest of the moon.
my first communion i held
the virgin mother’s body on
my tongue. my first communion
i held mary magdalene’s body
on my tongue. her body sang
while i slept. her body is a ghost
harboring my insides. i am a
boat in a current. i am a current
in a storm where the sky is a
man and he is stealing me.
my mother taught me how to
swim. my mother taught me
how to part water with both
palms but not how to navigate
my own body. my body is afraid
of a man. my body is not holy.
this poem, about moses, lets the
dog in. this poem, about a hole,
is plugged up by condoms in
the shape of a fist. my first
communion i kissed a girl
and the rain came down.
my first communion i let the
sky take my father, my mother,
and my skin. i am a child of the
sky. i am a body dug up and
what the dog dragged in. my
body is mary magdalene. my
body is a ship in a current that
does not love me. my mother
taught me how to love a man. my
mother split my palms open and
held them frontal to water. my
body is like oil to that water.
my body refuses to reenter the
house and learn how to swim so
this poem is a ghost. this poem is
my father.





Diana Khong is a full-time poet and part-time ghost. She’s editor-in-chief of Kerosene Magazine and is on staff at Noble Gas Quarterly, Ascend, and Red Queen Literary Magazine. Her work specializes in sexuality, decolonization, and the shape of mouths. For updates, you can find her on Twitter @dianakhong and Tumblr @deerthrum.