Angela Veronica Wong
One Angry Veronica
Once, I had a body
I still knew an inside and an outside
I still “ran with it”
I still saw things that made me smile.
Yesterday, in a very bad way, I had a body
I heard a horsefly panic in my apartment
I rolled tightly in bed like a dumpling
I recycled a tank top into rags
I showered and disappeared
like a woman doing housework
The conversation moved over me like a clenched fist
It’s something small that sits in my drawer
waiting to be forgotten.
Once, I convinced a plant to lean another way
and everyone moved as if we all together decided enough
with the lives that we lived let’s start over let’s start over let’s start over.
That day, against the teeth of the great foolish skyline of hope
we went away—
bodies like giant jellyfish
full of microplastics
carrying our sorrow into tomorrow.
The Great Dying
A robot therapist recognizes you. It’s a rarity to receive a hello so you accept with grace. A sweet six-year-old girl wears a rainbow sequin jacket and gets on your bus. She sits across from you and dances, shaking her arms and twisting her torso so the sequins in sunlight speckle the back of the seat. Remember when you used to have a joy for life? In a future we can have, there are pathways over highways for animals to travel. Noah’s Ark for the new millennium is giving back what we took before. Which of your household appliances is killing you? My bet is the blender, in the kitchen, with judgment: like, every time you make a smoothie it reminds you that you should be juicing. Here is our real life: A surfer did an air trick and fell on a shark. I work in an office with tiny windows too high to see out of. Still, they cast sunlight straight into my eyes. Now you can hunt pythons and be a good citizen. Now you can graduate and become the person who loads one salmon into a salmon cannon that blasts salmon over dams so they can spawn. See what we can do? We innovate and create jobs! Caffeinate me in the morning and this is what comes out of my machine. Look at the internet and find out something terrible about a man you never liked. Here’s the value of literature: one dollar for every metaphor used in a TedTalk along with the word collaboration. One dollar for every metaphor used as you surround your child in a language-rich environment. One dollar for every metaphor used in an article about the stock market. One dollar for when you look at chicken soup and think about carrots drowning in a sea of broth. I can work. I will work. I am creative and I will create value. I have bitten off more than I can chew. I will sit in my large house filled with monarch butterflies, their wings sweetly brushing against each other and kissing my face. I will sit in my large house, bathing in the sound of monarch wings as they try to get out. Our galaxy twists like a five-year-old trying to make a DVD shine in the light. We greet the past like an open window. Yes, the summer belongs to stone fruit and children, to not remembering our fumbled attempts of being adults. The summer belongs to all of us, exhausted hummingbirds, searching for nectar.
Angela Veronica Wong is a writer, artist, and educator living in New York City. She is the author of two full-length books of poetry including ELSA: AN UNAUTHORIZED AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Black Radish). She has published several chapbooks, most recently ANIMAL SUICIDES (Sixth Finch). Her performance work has been featured in independent galleries in Buffalo, Toronto, and New York City. She is on the internet at http://www.angelaveronicawong.com and on Twitter at @avwusesherwords.