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The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2021

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APRIL 2021 Issue
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Fade In


In those blue years
I lived among the pines.
I watched a man sink his face
into a flower patch.
I kissed my right hand
and buried my left.
Outside the snow
tumbled fat and wet.
I was sad when you arrived
hungover asking me out
for a drink.
You called me beautiful
and I could see
that you meant it.
I looked into the long nothing
of my day.
The river carried leaves
under us.
Another man’s panic undid me.
I waited for him to pause
so I could speak.
At the root of the mountain
I lost my glow.
Today’s weather reads smoke.
Friends ask questions
and I don’t know what to say.
I hold onto the body of a man
who doesn’t always know me.
Sometimes we are like children
who marvel 
at the stench 
our bodies can make.

Contributor

Cathy Linh Che

Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James Books), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Best Poetry Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. Her work has been published in The New Republic, McSweeney’s, and Poetry. She serves as Executive Director at Kundiman and lives in NYC.

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The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2021

All Issues