Culture / Memoir / New Voices at LM / Poetry / Writing · 9 May 2020

Diptych for the Dragon Gates

L I P S T I C K   &   O T H E R   S E R V I T U D E S


C A N D I C E   K E L S E Y


Pull my rickshaw faith
and me into the sea troubled
by feathery winds
and as you
lose your weight and grip
take from me
these eyes your tip.
Kick off toward the moon's dock:
Let me sink like Ophelia flowered
by dagger-tooth junks playing about
my smoky hair bubbling
to the sound
of a collective swallow.
That will be my lullaby and I'll
watch the great donor shore keep offering
its marrow.


My faith like a rotting potato
bruised and collapsed
turns green as jade and almost as lovely
if not for its wet-tumored skin.
For from the sea I'll rise
a winged dragon
shedding water like New Year's coins
to swing out in harmony
soaring toward my brothers
the mountains who stand in renewal
waiting behind the skyscrapers'
wide-mouthed steel
for my return
through the holy gate
mere rat.

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