Here comes the dreamer, we said.
Come, let us crush the irised wings.
Your brothers’ teeth are long
and sharp as a tiger’s stripes.
See how we devour this dragonfly whole.
What can we reap from a dreamer?
If only you were not as you are,
we would not have sold you.
lines your coat now. See how you’ve grown
comfortable with your own death.
What animal gnaws at you now?
We didn’t know you would be king.
If only we had.
Next up in the portfolio: “Altar” by Ansley Moon
Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), which won the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, and the translator, with E. J. Koh, of Yi Won’s The World’s Lightest Motorcycle (Zephyr Press, 2021), which won the Literature Translation Institute of Korea’s Grand Prize. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, The Best Small Fictions, Kenyon Review Online, AGNI, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from Kundiman, the Knight Foundation, and the American Literary Translators Association. She serves as co-founder of the Adoptee Literary Festival, co-leader of PEN America’s South Florida Chapter, and a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair. (updated 10/2023)