Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lo Kwa Mei-en, "Pinnochia, we loved you enough"

"Floating Away," by Andrew Hem

Pinnochia, we loved you enough
by Lo Kwa Mei-en

to dream up a simple boat that could, with confidence,
slice through a continent’s wet shelf for new gold and
other precious curio, and then we put you in it, dear
thing, but not before a real hand came down to carve

the map of worldly want into your brow, so you may
but look overboard, once lost, to know your place.
We will imagine you, unsinkable girl, stirring the seas
from Tsae to Tsew, and the sea sniffing at the cherry

notes of your bones, of the fresh wound of your head,
a daydream of something like blood as you row and
row for days. Pinnochia, you have been loved. Hard,
unsaying hips and tongue, you are indelible, we love

you that much. We dreamed a shark’s awl of a face
and mechanical thrust, dreamed the dream of you, half
-in, half-out his throat. So the hand came down kind
and sanded your breasts away for speed, for seconds

you, half-in, half-out of a devil, must cast your
-self away. Pinnochia, we could not bear to see you
destructed even in our sleep. Pinnochia, you will never
die. We bless you, living ghost of treasure, imagined

back into coffers wide enough for you to sleep in,
the half-sweet smell of you radiating from the walls.
There you will intuit all things done for a reason, so
you will do great things, we knew, as the hand came

down into your legs, making of two things one, brief
tableaus of hind light, spine, and blue, green, blue run
through the mind of the hand as he gave you the body
that could outrun the tides, and so we deliver you

into the oceanic womb, half-girl, new beast, and you will
go forth, reborn in the image of how we loved you: like
a bride, Pinnochia, like a thousand golden fish in the sea,
alive in the mouth of the coffer, the realest thing for days.

From Yearling (Alice James Books, 2015) / Originally published in Gulf Coast

Lo Kwa Mei-en is a Kundiman fellow and the author of two books of poetry, Yearling (Alice James Books, 2015) and The Bees Make Money in the Lion (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2016). She is from Singapore and Ohio, where she now lives and works in Cincinnati. You can also find her at

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