Tell Me How It Makes You Feel

Valerie Hsiung
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The omnipotent impotent waited for its cue while the buccal

samples were gathered and the missionary nuns delivered the 

fruit to the meningital youth in developing Southeast Asian 


I had another plan.

I was under contract. 

Not oath. 

Were these postcards sent by the offshore drilling agents or 

greeting cards sent by Chase Bank? 

On the wrong side of the window, on the ledge actually, there 

was a q-tip, the contract, and a bowl, and then I misspoke. 

The girls lying down blindfolded in the back of the truck have 

enough incentives and penicillin shots for our security.  

We shouldn’t mischaracterize their presentation before the 

ministers as nuptial even though that’s much more quaint 

than what they even have in store. 

An alphabet changes like a living tattoo, marking the 

fugitives, the escaped girls from the back of the trucks, like

stock numbers, stock market numbers gone haywire before a 


Into a snow-covered landscape human beings, the girls, fled 

first as a unified trail before scattering where the rocks block 

us from tracing them, a part of the ecology, they run as 

though they have just been tear-gassed. 

This poem is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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