• The Polyphony Team

Three Poems

by Amy Wei


Polyphony, Volume 2, Issue 1

First published April 2020, Manchester

Dinner


You leave me in the kitchen at five

with yesterday’s aubergine lasagne plates.

White light bleaches my hands

as I place portobellos on a tray

and submerge sun-dried tomatoes in cream.

Water is angered to a frothy boil

and red bell pepper slices crimp and shrink

in a deep pan of battered thighs spitting oil.


I beam from photos stuck on cupboard frames —

me, kissing you in Amsterdam and Rome.

Now, I’m serving hot dishes. You’re the same

wearing those same square Tommy glasses

but empty-eyed as you glower at the course:

“I don’t like tomato sauce.”


The Blackbird


On a leaf-strewn lawn a blackbird chirps a flutelike song to new sun, the weeds and the beardtongue. \noindent Behind pitch pine window panes I follow dewdrops she throws like marbles into the damp cloth air, as she hopscotches for worms. But when the rain returns to batter leaves off silver birch branches the blackbird disappears.


Vanitas


Your skin is plated gold

and in folds of cerulean silk

all the seas’ water

pools at your feet.

Red marble columns

taller than trees

pulse around you

with veins of milk

and your people extend

outside your temple

like a field of tulips—


but your gold chains

are now butchers’ hooks:

you swing rotting

and laugh blood

onto the gilded floor.

When your city is on fire

and the rain burns orange,

razing to dust

your silks, the dogs, the stone—

then what marble?

Then what gold?


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