– Jennifer Tseng –




My father was perfect
When he died.  He was perfect and
You could see the maker’s hand,
See the rut in the road
Of his dyed black hair where
The hand had made it
White again.

His soul left during the night.
He was alive when it left.  I felt it leaving.
The moment acted as a powder.
I breathed it in & slept. 
After nights and nights of being
Awake, I went under.

Perfection is swift
Snow covering a road,
A road that by morning
Will be gone.  It is the road
That exists underneath.

If there is a road that can’t be seen,
A road that has been covered,
Let me follow it.




I only write love poems to strangers


I only write love poems to strangers
& fools, to those who make valentines
with sequins & jewels then leave them discreetly in
bicycle baskets, those people from basket to basket
re-make the world, to green apples that redden then fall
to their knees, to bees in white boxes in woods near the sea
making honey for someone’s wife’s bitter black tea, to small,
frozen ponds bearing skaters in grey, to falls wearing shawls
of clear icicles dripping, then breaking, then drifting
away, to swans who stay & swim with ice
to ducks who desert then return, to the boy
who borrows The Odyssey for himself, &
Crime & Punishment for his mother, as if
curious about fate, yet already aware of
its paradox, to his sister, pretty on some days,
plain on others, to their mother who always looks
scared, who, when she’s alone, borrows
Start Where You Are & Smile at Fear.
None of them love me.  It’s okay.
My poem wants to love, if it wants anything.