Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry

Monica Ong

Monica Ong: “Corona Mestiza” (Click to Zoom)

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Issue 3 | Summer 2011

Kim-An Lieberman

Plot Graph

What she forgets first will be order, yesterday leaking
across today, car keys and one yellow dishwashing glove
on the fridge shelf next to the milk. She will accuse
the nurse of stealing pennies and dishtowels, proclaim relief
when you arrive, at last, the right face for this wrong afternoon,
but she will ask why is your hair so short, where is your backpack,
don’t you have homework today after school. She will
remind you to set the table for eight. She will pick at her oatmeal
as you review the year, the week, her children’s names.
She will doze off, mid-sentence, before you can finish.
Carve a small faith in her forgetting, in her mind rewinding
what her body cannot, in this finite life played and replayed
like a favorite movie, a bedtime story, a turn-key music box,
anything that ends because it knows exactly why.