a three headed caterpillar guards the beginning
of this poem. and there is something emerald
crushing my body, like your sad eyes are a river
the locals know not to swim. last tuesday, boats
crowded the water. the dead could drink nothing
but still got drunk to forget, like that one time
the rain was coming down hard in the park. you
opened a palm and instead of pigeons erupting
to feed on the drowned pellets, there was a flight
of ghosts. the hopelessness, a dark juice staining
their mouths. where do you find these women
my mom asks, who is an authority on shipbuilding.
Tyler Gonlag has worked for circuses, school districts, and music festivals, which all require eerily similar skill sets. He’s currently an MFA candidate at New York University and is working on a collection of poems examining transgenerational trauma in relation to his Indo ancestry.
Feature image by René Magritte. The Secret Double (Le Double Secret), 1927. Oil on Canvas. © Charly Herscovici—ADAGP—ARS.
Click on the image to enlarge.