The Red Brick Rule
by Lo Kwa Mei-en
Would you make a home in the world under the world? And where? The fine print of coziness is how much it houses, but my house is the weight of four men. Once upon a time, it was impossible to carry this place on my back. Do you smell that? I wince the hot walls in like a corset with something swollen to say. The attached face is empty by half. My address is classified, but against the walls, four men recite a pin’s point in pale stereo. When they push it in, my knees fold up with such speed I am a little cubist—my face has four corners and a black bed in each one. The yard is a suburb of flesh and grass that repeats in a neighbor’s yard. If there was a sunrise, come morning the smoke would shine all day. I know I look a queen in miniature. My room of modest living, it glitters and licks the day away. Look, my nation is nesting, gone happily, happily, happily to flame.
Lo Kwa Mei-en is the author of YEARLING (Alice James Books 2015), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. Her poems can be found in Better: Culture & Lit, Jellyfish, Pinwheel, Poetry Northwest, The Offing, and other journals.