word bouquets – Janice Kang


an octave is 8 notes, prefix oct- like octmouth & i 
have 8 mouths, each for a corresponding note in this interval
of frequent breaths disrupting the cacophony of, well, us,
f holes as your dimples, rotated ’round– ft. my past graphic designer self
photoshopping you into an overlay of music. you love music & i
love you, using the blur tool to combine my violin bridge with the bridge
of your nose, i kiss you, my bow tucked against your cotton shirt tucked
into oxford pants . . . & I braid your long hairs to play a c major scale, all soft & i
guess mundane, but not for me, major for all the field revolutions:
unthrone the tyrant! of what? our hearts & our fears, i
suppose, taking the throne for ourselves, precarious dangling & glee,
i give you a kiss for each note in a c major scale, no
sharps nor flats, just still waters, smooth sailings, the
sweet springs of glass mouths. 


“flower petals drifting into sea”

wish-making petals, &

everything scatters before me, a ripple effect but
i mean it in the most literal sense, because i’m at the shore-lines &
my palms are being cut open by glass shards. there’s a bottle coming
out to me, calling my name. i hear its siren song in its fractures
(i, too am fractured) (a lot of open-ended sentences floating about) &
i’m speaking to myself against the seas again, watching
the gloss waves. it’s a mermaid hiding away, i know, one with golden
skin. i ask them to pull me in, but of course they decline again
but i have a wildflower in my hands this time
soft & a bit crinkled from my woes, pressing
into the crevices. i imagine it like a love letter inside
of a petal & the poet (i) has (have) gotten tired, 
bleary-eyed & sad, again, so it has become ripped
rippled into the base of a boat anchored
to the docks, it smells a lot like salt & my 3 a.m. nights.
this flower has 5 petals. 5 4 3 2 1 i will i will not i will i will not i will &
the mermaid scowls at me. i’m just a human, but i think
this is home, do you get it? i kiss the bottle,
push the dead flower inside, set it atop the boat & wade into the waters.