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Poetry: Sida Li

sida-li.png

Pop Quiz

dear

cook for the Kennedys,

taking the F train to Brooklyn.

if a tree falls in the woods

I am a

pregnant lady in profile, 

afraid of leaving the house.

so what

so stay

&

stop

me

like a line on a highway:

÷

a. how to start a letter

b. ¿

c. math

d. you and ____

e. simile

f. snide reply

g. hypothetical situation 

h. ____ Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger

i. Julia Child euphemism

j. flee : hide :: so go : ____

k. agoraphobic

l. malformed pretzel

m. ____ sign

n. subway euphemism

 

Frank James v Governor Crittenden, inaugural speech, 1881

these days of blood?

they’re over.

a thing of the past –

for the lords of steel come west.

what do i know about

these acts of violence?

retribution:

there’s always someone left needs shooting,

& i am not here

to submit to robbers and bushwhackers;

they are relics.

remains of a diseased age –

 whose children would scalp their neighbors –

to become gods.

to talk

Bloody Bill and the Youngers, because

momma’s arm is all that

i need to remind myself

my kind are dying

 

Origins

Was eleven, maybe twelve, staring at moths tapping their wings against the windowpane. Turned off the lamp and switched on a flashlight. Led them to a hole in the screen.

Found they didn’t fit.


Sida Li is an MBA (no, not MFA!) candidate at New York University. His work has appeared in Hot Metal Bridge and The Saint Ann’s Review, among others. 

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