Issue > Poetry
Andy Young

Andy Young

Andy Young teaches at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and is the co-editor of Meena, an Arabic/English literary journal. Her chapbook The People is Singular is forthcoming from Press Street Press.


End of June: I study my stretched skin
where blue veins wind like rivers
           about to leap their banks,
                      try to keep birds from figs
                      plumping thick with syrup.
Tarmac fissures and buckles
           with heat, a peach splits
                    from the weight of a gust.

                      Far from here streets fill
with crowds shouting, batons cracking.
The death of a smiling woman on a daylit
           street replays on little screens.
           This is the world we'll give him.
Or rather, this is the world
                                          he'll get.

Precious Metal

The earth is birthing
grown Chilean men
from half a mile down—
            they come out
head-first in a metal chute
                                called Phoenix

with less a bird's than a rocket's body.
They kiss their women,
they kiss the ground
           as though
it were the moon,
                                though they've been

inside the earth two months,
eating bread and caramel lowered
by a cord. Subterranean,
            they wear black glasses
when they emerge with moles' eyes,
                                cameras flashing.

Ariel Ticona looks on screen
like he'd make a good Jesus.
Watch him grope through light
           to find the daughter born
while he was below. He knows her
                                 from the curled,

thin image sent down with a meal,
bright shadow almost human
inside her mother's dark—
          mine, he thinks, the child
is mine
, and one day she'll know
                                  of nights

on the inside those seventeen
days: the rationed mackerel,
the dreams of Mapuches striking  
           hunger in their cells.
The dead drifted through shafts,
                               shifted golden bones

shaken loose by quakes,
hair glinting copper
in the constant night
           like the metal ribbon
of the Rio Copiapó  
                                (shriveled now

to nothing), though no one will ever
tell of that woman who wept
as she oiled her master's feet,
           how she sang
as they sifted
                                 through the ashes.


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