7.02 / February 2012

Three Poems

UPON LIVING WITH A MAN NEWLY RELEASED

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A friend watches me spoon a soggy chunk
of my childhood and fling it
somewhere between my Brooklyn sink
and California. Her thoughts brake, as if to judge
the remains of a six-car pileup, or the sink,
jammed with crayon drawings of my father
in jail. Father, unconscious on bedding of stationery

marked with my name. Father, stick figure
twisted, and red. Father, fingering baloney
greased with the spit of a guard. Father’s mouth,
gorged with sores. Father’s music,
stripped from his lungs. Father’s eyes,
swollen with apology to my mother,

whose Garden Grove apartment reeks
of apathy. Her boyfriend’s roses. I sew together
syllables about trauma-a poem
about what war gifts to its witness
(silence). My words gurgle with curdled

blood, my mother’s old bruises.
My friend, who pops therapy like candy,
hounds me to see someone. But how could I
wreck another human being with the shrieks

of my father’s wars? Sometimes,
when the night is blank, I beat the new
moon with my crumpled drawings. She collects

my abuse in her belly. Waxes
until she, pregnant with rotten paper,

empties my anguish into the sky-


Still Life

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Testament

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Eugenia Leigh is a Korean American poet and Kundiman fellow who holds an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She received the Poets & Writers Magazine's 2010 Amy Award, and her first poetry manuscript was a finalist for the 2011 National Poetry Series. Eugenia's poems have appeared in North American Review, The Collagist, Lantern Review and Best New Poets 2010, among other publications. Born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, she currently lives in Brooklyn.
7.02 / February 2012

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