Anna Maria Hong



Cui bono?
When they turned me into a bird, they
turned me into a woman,
                                                              my top half full of breasts and throat,
                                                              the bottom, all claw and dirty venom.

Partitioned like a nation, so that I may sing
under the condition.
                                                              If I could sing without condition,

I would give up singing. No sex—
the vexing thing about sirens, all song and no
                              Goals for a Monday:
                              —rip out the knees of the patriarchy
                             —practice histrionic but alluring singing
                              —do laundry

Having a voice demands constant reparation. As a hybrid,
I’ve often felt the pull
toward the passive,
drawing them toward me like a busty magnet.
                                                                                     No one cares if you’re
                                                                                     half-beast, if you’ve got
                                                                                     a great rack.

                                                                                     Nothing saves a man like the pop
of a good braining.

Our song was a series of warnings,
which they took to be pretty.

ANNA MARIA HONG is the author of a novella, H & G, which won the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Clarissa Dalloway Prize and is forthcoming from Sidebrow Books in early 2018. Her poetry collection Age of Glass won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s 2017 First Book Poetry Competition and will be published in April 2018. Her second poetry collection, Fablesque, won Tupelo Press’s Berkshire Prize and will be published in 2019.

Issue Four
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