He takes me up to the planetarium to look at stars and planets. The
more we zoom in, the more the planets look like houses burning.
There are reasons for those domes, those halves of things forever
separating and coming back together. Those slats in the roof, they
can be controlled—opened and closed, unlike my mouth with its red
poppy, its dark copy. I wonder who is observing us, these two
terrestrial bodies, celestial sextants aligned only in the night. If they
zoom in, they will see two finger-like test tubes filled with fire.
Victoria Chang’s latest books include Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief (Milkweed Editions, 2021) and the poetry collection The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon Press, forthcoming 2022). Her collection OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020) received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN/Voelcker Award, and was longlisted for the National Book Award and named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. Her previous books of poems include the books of poems: Barbie Chang (Copper Canyon Press, forthcoming 2017); The Boss (McSweeney’s, 2013), winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award; Salvinia Molesta (University of Georgia Press, 2008), and Circle (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005). A 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, Chang holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and an MBA from the Stanford School of Business. She is a core faculty member in Antioch University’s low-residency MFA Program. She lives in Los Angeles. She also writes children’s books. You can find her at www.victoriachangpoet.com. (updated 4/2022)